Matthew is known for his telling of Jesus’ parables, and this Sunday we have the parable of the seed which fell on a path, rocky ground, among thorns, and finally among rich soil. God’s word is the seed and we are that which the seed falls upon.
The seed’s fate for the first three is explained: Birds pick it up, the growth was scorched, or the thorns choked it up. But the rich soil? A different fate. The seed on rich soil produces fruit.
There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): “It works if you work it.” In other words, go to the programs, attend the meetings, and sobriety has a good chance of being yours. If you don’t work it, the chances of slipping increase.
This comes to mind as I meditate on this parable. With each repetition spoken aloud or in my heart of “It works if you work it,” I cannot help but feel the soil of the heart is being tilled and prepared. Getting up to go to a 6am meeting when my whole body would rather sleep is one more push of the shovel into the ground. Pouring a second cup of coffee as I listen to people share their stories and struggles can only allow a seed to germinate. Fruit, true healing is born.
How is the soil of your heart? How can we allow the seeds of God’s Word to grow? What prevents the seeds of love to grow in our lives? Are there thorns of judgment or unknown prejudice? Are there rocks of sexism, racism, or homophobia? Is our heart a path worn by our walking a way of doubt and cynicism?
The soil of your heart can grow and bear fruit. I promise, it works if you work it.