Good Soil Among the Rocks

By Tim Graves
‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ Mark 4: 9 NRSV
 
In our too-human rush to judgement, we can miss the central point of the teachings of Jesus. In the parable of the sower, Jesus emphasizes the receptivity of the soil - of our hearts - to hearing the Good News of love for all. He does not suggest the sower should withhold seed. Rather, he describes what we see all around us. Not all seeds or love we share take root. 
 
Nonetheless, Jesus calls us to plant seeds of love extravagantly. We may fear there is not enough love, withholding seeds from those we deem unworthy or bad risks, but this is not what Jesus teaches. It is not our role to pre-judge others and withhold our love-seeds from the rocks. To do so, is to assume that we know where the Realm of God will take root and blossom. Sometimes the seed planted among the rocks, finds good soil where we least expect.
 
Photo by Tim Graves
Again he began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, 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. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ Mark 4: 1-9 NRSV (Read in context.)