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Planting Seeds

"Listen! A farmer decided to sow some grain. As he scattered it across the field, some of it fell on a path, and the birds came and picked it off the hard ground and ate it. Some fell on thin soil with underlying rock. It grew up quickly enough, but soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil. Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and crowed the young plants so that they produced no grain. But some of the seeds fell into good soil and yielded thirty times as much as he had planted - some of it even sixty or a hundred times as much! If you have ears, listen!" Mark 4: 3-9 (TLB)

"Here is another story illustrating what the Kingdom of God is like: "A farmer sowed his field, and went away, and as the days went by, the seeds grew and grew without his help. For the soil made the seeds grow. First a leaf-blade pushed through, and later the wheat-heads formed and finally the grain ripened, and then the farmer came at once with his sickle and harvested it." Mark 4: 26-29 (TLB)

John Sawyer lives in South Carolina. In his retirement he has found that planting flower and vegetable seeds is a good was of relating to God and creation. Planting can be a time of meditation as John prepares the soil and plants or scatters the seeds. Then comes the patient waiting and hoping for the germination and sprouting of the seeds, followed by the joy of seeing the seeds turn into plants, with buds, blooms, and fruit.

Growing relationships is a lot like gardening. We sow seeds of kindness through seeing every person as one created in the image of God and thus kin to us. We sow deeds of kindness by speaking the truth in love. We do deeds of kindness by actively treating every person with compassion and respect - as we would like to be treated. Thinking about all this led John to Jesus' parable of the sower. In the parable, the sower scattered the seed everywhere, regardless of the condition of the soil. We can do likewise. Then, as with gardening, we watch, wait, and hope for joyful growth in our relationships with others and with God.

Prayer: Help us, God, to be generous in our thoughts, words, and deeds to everyone we meet today. Then may your love bring a harvest of loving and reconciled relationships, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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