The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
Today’s Gospel: Mark 3:31-4:9
Our parable for this morning is one of my favorites. It is a rich story and I want to look at it from one particular angle. If God is the sower and we are the soil, what kind of soil are we? For me, how I answer that question differs from day to day and week to week. The pressures in my life, my stress and worries, the responsibilities I have to fulfill, can heavily affect how responsive I am to God’s presence in my life.
The good news is that I believe our God, the Sower, is always throwing seed–seeds of grace, hope, faith and love. These seeds rain down on us hoping to take root in our lives, hoping to find our souls tilled and receptive. The problem becomes that too often we are not in a place where we can be receptive. Maybe we have been hurt and our hearts are hardened like the packed earth of the path. Maybe we only see faith as one more coping mechanism among many, and consequently, our relationship with God is not a real priority. Maybe it is simply that the pressures of time and full schedules always seem to choke out our best intentions to open ourselves more fully to God’s presence.
At this moment in your life, what kind of soil are you? The very fact that you are reading these Lenten reflections says to me that you want to be open and receptive to God. What would it take for you to till the soil of your soul? Does it require more time, more vulnerability, more humility and a deeper realization of your need? What are the barriers that keep your faith from getting stronger? Our God, the Sower, is casting seed every second of every day. God wants to find a place to grow in your life, to give you the peace that passes all understanding. But it is up to you to open up and let God in.
A Prayer of Self-Dedication
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, and always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (BCP p.832)