Sunday 12 July 2020 - Are You a Sower?

Are you a sower, that is a sower of seeds not a sewer with needle and thread. 

Today’s reading in Matthew is all to do with sowing and reaping. The past few months for me have been spent in the garden, sowing seeds, bulbs, baby plants. I’ve sown sweet corn, cauliflowers, squash and courgette’s, and salad leaves. Now I’m going to state the obvious if I hadn’t planted I sure wouldn’t get to harvest at harvest time, you see you have to sow to reap. 

When I went into the garden last weekend, following a week of rain and warm weather the weeds had begun to spring up and I knew that I needed to deal with them quickly. I remember when we lived in Birkby we had some wonderful raspberry canes that produced lovely sweet berries. Down amongst the raspberry canes, a lovely little yellow flower appeared really pretty we thought let’s leave it be. A few weeks later we went to inspect how the raspberries were doing but they weren’t, they had all died, the pretty little yellow plant now known in our house as the insidious weed had wrapped itself around the roots of our raspberries and rung the life out of them. 

So back to my question are you a sower? As Christians the answer to that should be a resounding yes, but what are you sowing I ask, well I’m hoping that your answer is the gospel, if I ask you what is the gospel you are sowing what is your answer? Maybe it’s telling people they should come to church, we enjoy a good sing song, or come to church you are sure to get a hug if you need one, or come to church you will get a cuppa and a biscuit at the end of the service, for some of you that might be the good news you share to get people to come along to church. But I have bad news, those things aren’t going to be on offer when we go back to church following lockdown. Church is going to be very different. However I ask again what is the gospel we are planting, it should be something that can’t be taken away from us because of coronavirus or any other virus that might come along, we should be planting the good news that Jesus came to earth as a man, to stand with us, to die for us on a cross to enable us to be able to come back into a relationship with his father, to forgive us for the things we have ever done or got wrong. 

When you throw out the seeds of the Gospel, it won’t always be received and embraced like in the parable Jesus shared when he talked about the different types of soil. There are those who just don’t want to know, those who take it on board superficially and when something they think is better comes along they drift away. There are the ones who take it on board but then they get criticised poked fun at and the going just gets too tough for them and they give up. But there are those who will receive the Gospel of God’s love for them and they will go on to sow seeds themselves and bring many to know Christ as Lord and Saviour. 

You might be thinking it’s okay you saying we have to sow the Gospel, but what if people don’t want to know. What about when that wee small voice starts whispering in your ear, you failed there didn’t you, they just didn’t want to know. Well it’s our job to plant to water to nurture those tender plants but it is God who makes things grow you are not a failure you have done your job.  And when the time comes for the harvest to be picked more will be harvested that you sowed. 

You may know the story of the dairy farmer’s son who grew up during the great depression in North Carolina, as a teenager he grudgingly attended church with his parents. At an all-day prayer meeting in 1934 someone prayed that God would raise up someone from Charlotte North Carolina who would preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. 

Dr Mordecai Ham a travelling evangelist was invited to preach in Charlotte, thousands flocked to hear him. The farmer’s son got invited to hear Dr Ham, and his main reason for going was that his friend said you can drive the pickup truck if you like, the young man drove the truck to the meeting and ended up committing his life to Christ, and that young man was Billy Graham he went on to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. 

So back to where I started are you a sower, the answer should be yes I am, this week are you going sow seed plant those seeds,  God needs sowers, waterers and nurturers. It is up to you and me to sow the seeds that God will one day harvest.