(To be honest, part of me wants to jump right in and say something clever about the latest Trump-tastrophe. But… wait a minute… there it goes; thankfully the temptation has passed.)
Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” – Mathew 13:1-9
Depth of Soil
Instead I’m going to write about how I came home from church all excited yesterday, just thrilled with both the worship experience and the passage of scripture we talked about in my discipleship class.
Sometimes – and this is why I always try to remember to pray before I read from the Bible – it is as if God opens a previously dusty and unused portion of my consciousness, then literally pours in truth, and insight, and clarity. Sometimes my spirit lights up and everything makes sense; and I want to run from the room, drive home, crank up my computer, and write it all down…
But of course I don’t. I stay, I engage the conversation that spills out around the table in my class, I learn from my brothers and sisters, I see how the Spirit quickens their thinking too, we learn as a community, and we grow together in faith. Then, hours later, I try to capture some of it in these written words and pass it on to you; and I smile ruefully, accepting the reality that this is just a blog, and if I want my readers to share in what I’m trying to communicate then I’m going to have to invite more of you to church.
We talked about parables in general, and then Matthew’s “Parable of the Sower” in particular. Actually, mostly (at least for this week) we considered just this one idea: “and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away…”
I think we’ve all had experiences with things (movements, ideas, churches, careers, business plans, intentions, relationships…) that launch like a rocket but soon find trouble because “they had no depth of soil.”
So we enjoyed some good conversation around that – and also some good reflection where there was quiet, pointed, thinking, and less actual talking. Then I made the following observation. Or rather the Spirit used me to remind all of us about the deep, nourishing, invitational, redemptive, grace and mercy of God.
“But it’s not ‘one and done,’ is it! Jesus isn’t dismissively pointing out that there’s only one chance at hitting the right soil with the right seed. Instead, the sower continues his – or her – work…”
“That’s right,” Ed picked up the thought. “The Sower comes back around. There’s always another pass, another year, and another opportunity.”
There is always another opportunity for depth of soil; always. Every time; every season. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”
And this – I’m convinced of it – is the time for depth of soil.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.