Gospel of Mark 4, 26 – 29 The parable of the growing seed
Jesus also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces corn – first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. As soon as the corn is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.’
October 1, 2023
the stamp with the Sower is from Germany, probably shortly after WW2. Germany was a field of ruins. The former US Secretary of the Treasury, Morgenthau, wanted to make Germany an agricultural country. It was never again supposed to be an industrial state. But this did not happen.
The Sower on the stamp sows in the furrows. In contrast, the Mongolian stamp shows what has grown. Large grain fields can be harvested. Not with a sickle as Jesus did, but with machines. What was sown has grown and produced much fruit.
Both stamps fit well into the parable which Jesus tells. Jesus is talking about the power that is in the seed. Almost automatically, the seed becomes fruit. The seed grows by sun and rain alone. The Sower does not participate to the growth of the seed. The Sower watches the grain to grow. When the grain is ripe, he will reap what he had sown.
Jesus transfers this image to the faith. He is concerned with the word of God. The word of God is sown in the heart by hearing or reading. Then it begins to grow. The Word of God which we can read in the Bible or hear from others has tremendous power. It matures in a person's heart and changes this person. The fruit that grows makes it possible to love one's enemies instead of hating them. It makes one ready to forgive instead of taking revenge. It makes us ready to reconcile instead of bitterly fighting the other. The Word of God changes the spiritual ground. The Word of God makes it possible to love God and to love your neighbor. God's word prepares a fertile ground in us.
Whoever takes God's Word into his heart, into his thoughts, into his soul, will experience how faith in Jesus Christ grows and forms a new character. The apostle Paul describes it this way (2 Corinthians 5:17): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”
Our heart should be God's "farmland" in which he can sow his wonderful word every day. Then what pleases God can grow in us: peace, forgiveness and reconciliation, love for our fellow human beings. These are the "fruits" that do good to others and become a blessing. When Jesus' words grow and mature in us, we become other people. Then we are "in Christ," as the apostle Paul writes. Then Jesus makes everything new!
I wish you that your heart is like a fertile field that receives God's word and lets much good fruit ripen. I am certain: You will rejoice over the many good fruits that God lets grow in you. You will then become a "Sower" by yourself, sowing the Word of God among your friends, neighbors and colleagues. You will sow God's love and reap much joy and peace in your life.
Thank you for listening to me. I cordially invite you to the next devotion with stamps on October 15. Until then, I wish you God's blessings and preservation in spirit, soul, and body through our Lord Jesus Christ.