ISAIAH 55:10-11 | ROMANS 8:18-23 | MATTHEW 13:1-9
The message Isaiah delivers to us today, and the parable Jesus spins, need to be stamped in our minds and hearts. They remind us that God’s word is always productive, whether it comes to us like gentle rain or like seeds tossed over the soil. We’re reminded that God is always reaching out to us. God is continually communicating with us. God is never silence.
We’re reminded, too, that we often don’t hear God’s word. Sometimes we’re only ready to hear a part of the message, or we hear it and then forget it. The parable of the sower presents the various ways we might miss hearing God’s word, ignoring it, not taking the time and effort to come to understand its meaning for our lives, or being so distracted by the lives we lead, that we don’t even realize that God’s speaking to us. Today’s message is clear: stop, be quiet, listen. God is speaking to you.
There’s an additional teaching in today’s scripture that we shouldn’t overlook. We’re disciples of Jesus, and so we’ve committed ourselves, like he did, to share the word of God. What we’ve heard, what we’ve understood, what we’ve integrated into our lives must be shared. Don’t forget what Jesus told his disciples as he sent them out on their mission. “Make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of God is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
We’re open to the word of God. We listen for it; we take it to heart. But we’re also asked to share what we’ve heard. We do this by the example of our lives, by the advice and guidance we give, by preaching in whatever way we might preach. Sometimes we’ll be heard but not understood. Sometimes we’ll be ignored. Sometimes the word we share will touch a heart, and that word will yield “a hundred or sixty, or thirtyfold.”