Allotment Garden, Peterborough, England
A friend in England introduced me to Allotment Gardening. Her family has eaten the fruit of their labor this last year and are making plans for the coming spring planting. It takes preparation. The garden must be prepared, weeds must be removed, soil must be turned, water must be available, all of this before the first seed is put in the ground.
Nowadays, that first seed doesn’t go into the ground, but into prepared planters in a bright window to get a head start on the season. Seedlings will go from there into the ground when frosts have past, for temperatures have an affect, too. There is not only a sense of accomplishment, but nourishment and great taste!
Jesus begins Mark 4 with a parable about seeds. Today it makes sense, but mainly because it didn’t to his disciples and they received an explanation from Him when they requested clarification. In that explanation we find:
The sower soweth the word. (Mark 4:14 KJV)
That’s me. Back, for a moment, to allotment gardening. Not all gardens are prepared or worked the same. Some are not weeded, some are sifted for every single incorrect root’s removal. My English friend had considerable work to prepare her allotment for planting. Had the previous gardener done well, their work would have been lessened.
I haven’t done any preparation in my reader’s lives. I have not removed rocks, provided water. I haven’t checked to see if the word has fallen on prepared soil at all. And, that’s OK here.
It’s not OK when it comes to my Sunday School class. That’s where preparations are a necessity. Yet even there another verse comes to mind.
And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. (John 4:37 KJV)
We sowers should never become impatient. Most of the vegetable seed packs give an estimate of the time it takes from planting to harvest. I, on the other hand, have no idea how long it might be for these seeds of God’s word to bear fruit – or even if they will. It may be that another teacher will tend this biblical garden, removing stones from the rocky ground or applying living water to wilted faith.
It may be long enough that I will not see the fruit. Doesn’t really matter. It’s just my calling to sow bountifully:
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6 KJV)
There’s another sower parable in Matthew 13 that begins:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. (Matthew 13:35 KJV)
Isn’t it nice to know secrets? Read this and you will.