An old piece of country wisdom advises: ‘Sow the seed generously. One for the rook, one for the crow, one to die, and one to grow.
Jesus knew that. He told a parable about ‘a sower who went out to sow’. Some seed was eaten by birds, and yet more failed to establish, much became overgrown. However, some seed fell in good soil and the plants sprouted, grew, and produced corn.
The story was told to give encouragement. If a sower thinks only of potential losses they might never set to work! The secret is to sow generously in the hope of a good harvest. St Paul sums it up when speaking Christian giving: ‘Remember, sparse sowing, sparse reaping; sow bountifully and you will reap bountifully’ (2 Corinthians 9:6).
This is the season of harvest festivals, when churches and schools celebrate both reaping and sowing. Meanwhile, growers are busily drilling winter cereals anticipating next year’s harvest. Not all will come to fruition. A hard winter may take its toll.
However, it’s been observed that ‘in sowing faith is proclaimed in the order of the universe and the power that makes things grow’. Here’s a pattern of life for all – giving abundantly – expressing hope – as we ‘sow the seed generously’.
THE Rev Alan Barker
South Holland Methodist Minister