“And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
The Kingdom of God is like this. Parables are difficult to understand because they are clothed in mysterious language with strangely familiar images. They multilayered and filled with meaning at every layer. This parable, The Parable of the Sower, is Jesus’ explanation for the mysterious way in which the word of God takes root in some people’s lives and doesn’t take root in others’ lives. Regardless of the quality of the soil, the sower still sows seed. It is almost like the sower hopes against hope that perhaps, this time, the rocky soil might provide a home for a seedling.
It is in the good soil that the seed takes root and multiplies, bearing more fruit than can even be imagined. What is most interesting, however, is that “bad” soil can be worked to be made good. Rocks and debris can be removed. Soil structure can be improved by the addition of organic matter. Water can be added to provide moisture. Good soil can be made from bad soil with a little work.
The good news is that sower will sow seed regardless of the quality of our soil. Throughout this Lenten season, we can do the work to improve the quality of our soil. We can do the work of confession and repentance, removing the debris from the soil of our spiritual lives. We can add practices of prayer and scripture study to our spiritual lives to improve our soil’s composition. As you reflect on this journey so far and what remains of it, think about what you need in the soil of your spiritual life for the seed to multiply and bear fruit. What do you need to work on in your spiritual life? What do you need to remove? What do you need to add for God’s transforming work to become real?
God of the dirt, it is no accident that we began this journey with ashes on our foreheads. We recognize that without you in our lives, we would simply be dust. You have breathed life into our lives, bringing life from dirt and dust. Continue to breathe life into us. Search our hearts, shine your light into the places that our lives need tending. Amen.