|Christ the King, Year A||November 23, 2014||Christ the King, Year A||Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, Psalm 95:1-7a, Ephesians 1:15-23, Matthew 25: 31-46|
|Pentecost 23, year A||November 16, 2014||Proper 28, Year A||Matthew 25:14-20|
|Pentecost 22, year A||November 9, 2014||Proper 27, Year A||Matthew 25:1-13|
|All Saints, 2014||November 2, 2014||All Saints’ Day, Year A||Psalm 34: 1-10,22, 1 John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12|
|Pentecost 20, year A||October 26, 2014||Proper 25, Year A||Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18, Psalm 1, Matthew 22:34-36|
|Pentecost 19, year A||October 19, 2014||Proper 24, Year A||Isaiah 45:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22|
|Pentecost 17, year A||October 5, 2014||Proper 22, Year A||Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80:7-14, Philippians 3:4b-14, Matthew 21:33-46|
|Pentecost 16, year A||September 28, 2014||Proper 21, Year A||Sermon, Proper 21, Year A Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32, Psalm 25: 1-8, Philippians 2:1-13, Matthew 21:23-32|
|Pentecost 14, year A||September 14, 2014||Proper 19, Year A||Matthew 18:21-35|
|Pentecost 13, year A||September 7, 2014||Proper 18, Year A||Ezekiel 33:7-11, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20|
|Pentecost 11, year A||August 24, 2014||Proper 16, Year A||Matthew 16:13-20|
|Pentecost 10, year A||August 17, 2014||Proper 15, Year A||Matthew 15:10-20, 21-28|
|Pentecost 9, year A||August 10, 2014||Proper 14, Year A||Matthew 14:22-33|
|Pentecost 8, year A||August 3, 2014||Pentecost 8, year A||Matthew 14:13-21|
|Pentecost 6, year A||July 20, 2014||Proper 11, Year A||Romans 8:12-25|
Pentecost 5, year A
Sermon Date:July 13, 2014
Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, Psalm 65:9-14
Liturgy Calendar: Proper 10, Year A
"Sower with Setting Sun" – Van Gogh, 1888
Have you ever felt like dirt?
Those of you who came to the Lenten program about those two loveable characters, Frog and Toad, may remember the story about Toad’s garden—
Toad planted the seeds that Frog gave him in the dirt, and after much agony on Toad’s part, and after the rain rained on the dirt, and the sun shone on it, his seeds finally sprouted.
And Toad proclaimed that sprouting those seeds had been very hard work.
The dirt in the Frog and Toad story must have been good rich dirt, because the seeds came up, and the story leaves us with the assumption that Toad’s garden was going to turn out to be just as beautiful as Frog’s garden.
Now sometimes in my life, I feel like good fertile dirt.
When I was in high school, a popular saying was going around.
If there had been such a thing as the internet, people would have sent this saying around in forwarded emails.
“Bloom where you are planted.”
Sometimes I feel like that—good rich dirt that can grow something beautiful and blooming.
But other times, I feel like worn out, tired exhausted dirt, dirt so hard and dried up, and full of clay that nothing at all could grow.
And sometimes, I just feel like regular old dirt, dirt like the dust that got on people’s feet in Biblical times and got washed away when they visited somewhere and the servant of the house washed their feet.
In his parable today, although he doesn’t come right out and say it, Jesus says that we are all just like dirt and that we get to choose what kind of dirt we want to be—we can bloom where we are planted, or we can just be barren old dirt that won’t grow anything, or just dirty old dirt that messes up the house and needs to be swept away.
So it pays to think about what kind of dirt we are and what kind of dirt we’d like to become.
But what I really want to talk about is not how we are like dirt, but what today’s scripture passages tell us about God.
Bottom line—God is AWESOME!
And here’s how.
God is incredibly generous!
God is not sitting around trying to figure out where to plant seeds. These days, before we’d start anything, we’d do a study to figure out where our time, energy and money would be best used, right?
Or if you’re a farmer, you’d never go out and just throw your seeds around like the sower in the parable Jesus told. On a path, on rocky ground, or in the middle of weed and thorns—no way!
But God doesn’t spend time analyzing us, or checking out what kind of dirt we are before God plants in us the seeds of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Instead, God is abundant and generous, always sowing these seeds in us and among us all the time and throughout the world, hoping that God’s seeds will take root, sprout, and grow into luxurious gardens that are full of beauty and nourishment for us all.
So God is abundant and generous, and here’s something else that these passages tell us about God.
God is dependable.
The Psalmist says—“God visits the earth and waters it abundantly, making it very plenteous, the river of God is full of water. God prepares the grain, and provides for the earth, drenching the furrows and smoothing out the ridges, with heavy rain softening the ground and blessings its increase. And in God’s tracks, plenty springs up, and the wilderness becomes rich for grazing.”
God—unbelievably and downright carelessly generous, and then dependable about giving us what we need, as the dirt, to bring the seeds that God has planted into us to life, to sprout and to grow and to flourish.
And last, and most important of all, God is in the dirt with us!
Imagine that! No matter what kind of dirt we are, God is right there with us. Paul tells us in Romans that when we know this about God, the Spirit of God dwells in us and gives us life and peace. Those seeds can sprout and we can bloom where we are planted.
So—-if you don’t remember anything else about today, remember these things—
God is wildly generous, and is always planting seeds in us.
God will give us what we need to grow those seeds of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
And God is right down there in the dirt with us.
And we get to choose what kind of dirt we will be.