8th Sunday After pentecost
The Christian is planted by the Word and produces fruit. The Sunday is summarized in the Prayer of the Day which thanks God for the implanting of the Word and asks for the Spirit’s help in producing fruits of faith.
sermon lesson: matthew 13:1-9.18-23
What a description of Jesus’ ministry! What a description of ours! The Sower scatters the seed of the Gospel to all with no regard for where it might land. Yet most of his seed bears no fruit. This parable brings warning and such comfort. Christ warns us that the seed of the Word faces great opposition from sin, Satan, and the world. Newborn faith can be choked or scorched. The Gospel promise can be snatched from apathetic or misunderstanding soil. Though we sow the seed faithfully and generously, Jesus warns us that most of it will never bear fruit that lasts. Yet for every faithful Gospel preacher, Christ comforts us by showing that the preacher’s job is to sow the seed and leave the growing up to God. He comforts us by pointing to what his Word does in the good soil: it plants great faith that does great things. In the man who hears and understands it, the simple sowing of the Word will produce a crop—a hundred, sixty, or thirty-fold.
Artwork: Ian M. Welch. © 2014. All rights reserved. (paramentics.com)