Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 (NRSV)
13That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!" 18"Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
Is there good soil in my heart so I see the secrets of the kingdom and share the word that God has already given me? I ask myself this question because the only “Bible” some people will read is my presence.
It amazes me that God calls us imperfect people to be the presence of God on earth. God calls us just as we are, daily loves and forgives us, and sends us out as witnesses to God’s love and mercy. If we are honest and authentic, and share times when God has been present in our lives, people listen. God shows up, reaches into the depths of our lives, and lifts us up, drawing us close. God’s word dwells in us as close as our heartbeat. God waters our thirsty hearts, sustains us with divine presence, and empowers us to speak the word of God. And we can trust God’s promise that God’s word never returns empty. Thanks be to God.
Lord, make my heart good soil, ready to hear, ready to serve you. Amen.