Re-heard the Parable of the Sower this morning.
"Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Mark 4)
It's an important part of scripture for the Unitarian Church here, in part because the large stained-glass window is a depiction of the Sower, based on the Jean-François Millet painting from the mid-1800s, of a peasant at work.
I like re-hearing these parables because sometimes you get to see a new angle. Today, the reverend noted that she was initially apprehensive about the traditional interpretation of the parable, because it seemed to classify people into good and bad categories and imply that the bad groups of people were unreachable. But she also points out that in the parable, Jesus casts that seed, those words of love, everywhere, to everyone; he doesn't keep the seed only for fertile soil. Don't just ask whether you embody the soil that is prepared for the word of love, but consider whether you, like the Sower, will carry the word of love to everyone in your life.
It was striking to learn that it was this parable that the bible study group was discussing on that night last June when Dylann Roof entered the Mother Emanuel church in Charleston and was welcomed into their group.
But to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
Is the work; start there, turn to the work.
Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into your own field