Day 15 of my 30-day writing challenge / Summer in the Psalms
Guest writer: Mercy Perez
Summer in the Psalms is a sermon and reflection series from my church, Vineyard One NYC. There was a mix-up with coordinating readings from the Revised Common Lectionary, so today’s Biblical passage, Matthew 13:1-9, is from a different week than Psalm 69. I think it still works!
He sat by the lake and large crowds gathered around him – Matthew 13:2
Jesus, wherever he went, seemed to gather large crowds. They may have been curious, seeking healing for a loved one or themselves, or just yearning to hear him speak one more time.
On this day, Jesus begins to teach in parable form about a sower and his seeds. The seeds represent Jesus’ message about the Kingdom of God. While many people received these seeds — heard the message — not all of them took Jesus’ words to heart.
The sower in this case is the messenger. His task is to spread Jesus’ message: the invitation to experience the love and intimacy of God. Jesus’ desire is for all to hear, believe, and enjoy an eternal relationship with God. However, as shown by the parable of the seeds, not everyone who hears the message can receive it and remain in relationship.
As hearers and messengers of the words of life, our task is to continue to offer the message of life. We know that not everyone will believe, but all can hear how much they are loved. We are only the messengers; God alone can reach the heart.
We saw something similar in Psalm 69, where David, who did everything right — fasted, prayed, wore sackcloth — did not have the outcome he expected and hoped for. Instead, he felt isolated, a foreigner among his own family.
As we live day to day and year to year, our plans and desires do not always turn out how we imagine or expect. But we can be encouraged because we are cared for by someone who knows us better than we know ourselves.
When your plans don’t go as you had hoped for, or when people don’t respond to God’s love as you would wish, be encouraged by God’s love for you. Continue to share Jesus’ message, knowing that it’s God’s task to change hearts.
We are amazingly loved. Share this with someone today. Ask the Lord to come and have his way.