Luke 8:4-8

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.”

As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Luke 8:4-8

“Feedback” is an interesting word. There are times when it is a bad thing (no one appreciates the schreeching of an unbalanced middle school auditorium sound system), and there are times (when people give us feedback regarding something we have said or done) when it’s a good thing. On balance, feedback is a good thing.

Jesus tells a parable of a careless sower who haphazardly scattered his seed. He wasn’t at all careful. There really isn’t an excuse for wasting precious seed by throwing it on a walking path. That is the first thing anyone who has ever planted seeds would notice.

But then comes the feedback.

Some feedback came quickly. Birds didn’t take long to let the sower know that the seeds sown on the path were wasted.

Some of it took some time. The “let’s take some time to see how things are working out” nature of farming meant that it would be awhile before the straggly plants among the rocks, or the choked out plants among the thorns, would die. Oops.

But the seeds planted in good soil? They flourished and produced an abundant harvest. Possibly a good enough harvest to cover the previously wasted seed. The story has a happy ending.

Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” is an interesting way to end a story. Jesus isn’t making a point that we have to get right, he’s painting a picture and inviting us to enter. Tomorrow we will hear more about this story.

For now, just know that the varieties of feedback portrayed in this story sound a lot more like life as we know it than a culture of “I want it NOW!” allows for. Sometimes we get immediate feedback – but far more often, and for the most important things in life, we have to wait a long time before we see the fruits of our efforts. Hang in there.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, the extravagant generosity of your love reaches even to the thorniest areas of our lives. Today we need both perseverance and patience as we all do what only we can do in the little corners of the garden which you have entrusted to us. We pray for a good harvest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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