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3/4/2020 – The Parable of the Growing Seed

Passage: Mark 4:26-29

Written By: Bridget Milam – Undergrad

I, like many of us young Fayetteville college students, would like a garden. Not just any garden, but one complete with edible vegetables and maybe flowers I can pick in the summertime; nothing too extraordinary. Now, if I were to be truly honest with myself, I would need to take into consideration that I have never grown so much as a houseplant and successfully kept it alive for longer than 3 months. It simply is not enough for me and my lack of a green-thumb to provide the soil and other nutrients which I lovingly provide in plenty (such as water). Still, the evidence collected against me does not yet deter me from my dream of hosting a feral garden in my backyard.

Luckily, there is a chance that some plants may survive. By simply planting the seeds in the soil outside, I have already provided them a better chance of surviving my suffocating love. This is similar to how Jesus alludes to God’s kingdom in the Parable of the Growing Seed—“the kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.” One way this parable can be interpreted is that the seed represents the Spirit of the kingdom of God. The seed is scattered faithfully by the sower and sprouts into a seedling all without the sower knowing how it does so.

“The earth produces by itself…” It is inevitable that the seed should grow independently in a person who has received it, by faith, into their heart. This is how the kingdom of God grows.

Some plants will do more than just survive. They will go beyond the first stages of life and reach a time of fruitful harvest; a time when I will proudly collect them and attempt to cook an “organic” meal. However, this time of rejoicing is dependent on the independence of the seed. With my interventions, the seeds would have most likely been washed away before they could take root. With God’s interventions, the seeds would flourish.

Do you value independence? Our culture encourages independence from an early age. This can cause us to want total control over every aspect of our lives, ultimately keeping us from relying on God for help when we need him. In this Lenten season, challenge yourself to be dependent on God’s independence; let your faith rest in God’s ability to conquer anything we are unable to overcome, just like when the sower scattered the seed.

Prayer: “Lord, help me surrender my independence to you so you can work in my life independently. Allow me to become dependent on you, so that by faith I can help grow your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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