One day, Jesus told his friends a story. “A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Matthew 13.3-8, NLT).
When I was in Bible Society work, I often preached on this passage, because, as Jesus notes later in that passage, the seed is the Word of God, and I was in the business of promoting the reading, promotion and distribution of God’s Word.
It has another layer of meaning, though, too.
When we sow seeds of faith, we can’t always see immediate results. It might take years for those seeds to take root and grow.
I’ve heard a few stories this week of people in whom much has been invested spiritually who are starting to bear fruit. It’s exciting to watch, and exciting to hear these stories.
Here’s another example. A few weeks ago, I was called to oversee a ‘celebration of life’ service for someone who had died. I knew no one in the family at all. In the conversation, I learned that the reason I was called is that a young person in their family has attended our summer Vacation Bible Camp.
Because our volunteers helped a child learn about Jesus while having fun, I now have an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with a group of grieving family and friends.
We have no idea what may happen when we sow seeds of the Word, seeds of faith. Ultimately, that’s up to the Lord. We may benefit in our own part of God’s vineyard, or some other congregation may benefit. Either way, the Kingdom wins when we share faith.
“Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15.58b, NLT).