Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark 4:1-9
Some people like to sow seeds of discord. We’ve seen that over the past week with people all over the nation demonstrating and protesting everything from Donald Trump’s presidency, to income inequality, to abortion rights (more on that below) and more. One Facebook post made the observation that demonstrators were destroying property of companies that aligned themselves against Donald Trump. It seems that they were just angry.
Another post on Facebook – itself a source and field ripe for sowing seeds of discord – made another cogent observation: Today, at the Women’s March, people will be marching for almost everything under the sun. Supposedly a diverse group, they have one thing in common: they were all born. Now, that’s a right worth marching for.
Perhaps there is a time and place to sow seeds of discord and strife. Issues that have surfaced recently do deserve to be aired, debated, challenged, and expressed. But there is a seed that brings the ultimate peace which Jesus speaks of here in this parable. It is the seed of God’s word. And when it is sown, and received into a believing heart it brings peace. James tells us that a harvest of righteousness is reaped by those who sow seeds of peace (James 3:16-18).
Seeds of discord, unrest, anger, and resentment are all too easy to sow. When, however, the Holy Spirit is within us, and we more consciously seek to sow the seed of God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation (the seed of the Gospel), a more beautiful result ensues. That will sometimes require the seed of the law to be sown. Sometimes we must speak a word of truth, for the word of God does go to the heart. But never does God’s word seek only to alarm. Ultimately it seeks to bring people to repentance and faith. And when the seed of God’s word springs fully into faith it is a beautiful thing.