“A sower went out to sow his seed and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down……” Luke 8:5-8:15; Matt 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20
Many theologians speak on this topic, but few, if any, look at it from the seed’s point of view. Imagine yourself as the seed. You hold God’s Words in your heart, you are trying desperately to do the Lord’s work and be fruitful and multiply but you landed on a rock or a thorn … you get crushed underfoot, you get stuck on a thorn, and do not have fertile ground, or sunlight, or water to grow. Here you are, this little seed trying to do God’s work in a barren space… and there is no enduring sustenance for you to sustain your life in the Lord.
How many times does this happen to a little seed? To that person (the seed) who wants so much to be part of the Lord’s vineyard but is not planted anywhere near it even though it looked like it was the vineyard when the seed was sowed? Does this happen in the Church? Isn’t the Church the fertile ground, the Lord’s Vineyard? Yes…and No too. Evil works it’s hardest in a place where people are trying their hardest to be good and faithful servants to the Lord. That means that even though the teachings of the Church, the Church itself, is perfect in the World, the people who make up the Church, fallen humanity, are not. So…the results are: jealously, competition, vain glory, pride, marginalization, and even hatred, happens in the Lord’s Sacred Vineyard, the Church.
What does these negative elements in the Sacred Vineyard do to the little seed, the Word of God in the person? The negative elements starve it, they dry it up, they crush it under foot – and the little seed doesn’t stand a chance on supposed fertile ground. It withers and dies because the little seed needs sustenance, protection, water, and light to survive. In short, in order to grow and be fruitful and multiply, the little seed needs to be treated with: equally, kindness, love, compassion, and care from the environment in which it is planted – all the elements Jesus taught – all the nurturing elements of what a believer in Christ’s teaching, a Christian, is defined to be.
So, when jealously, vain glory, pride, competition, marginalization, even hatred rear their ugly head (in church committees, in the choir, on the cantor stand, in ethnic and gender divisions, even in the Altar – on the supposed fertile ground of the Church), smother the negative elements with all the life-sustaining elements Jesus taught to those who call themselves followers of Christ, Christians – so that the little seed of faith in each and every member of the body of Christ, may receive the life-giving nurturing and the sustenance needed in order to blossom and grow to serve the Lord in His Sacred Vineyard.