The parable of the sower is one Sunday school story I vividly remember. I grew up in a place where rural landscapes were readily accessible, and my youthful imagination could easily visualize the margins of a field where rows of crops give way to patches of weeds and brambles, strips of roadside gravel and finally, asphalt. This parable still conjures specific visual memories for me.
I still experience the same nagging question that made this bucolic scene unsettling for me as a child and I am sure for its original hearers; “Where has the seed known as me fallen?” It is a poignant thought, our lives equated with something as small and seemingly insignificant as a seed. And what chance does the poor seed stand that falls on the blacktop?
I think here Mark shows Jesus, the Teacher, at his finest, calling his students to wrestle within themselves with vivid, relatable imagery. I think we all struggle with the easy trap of deciding for ourselves where we have been planted. For us church-goers, the ground is undoubtedly dark and rich. Rather, we should ask what part of the field we find ourselves in today. Our ears and hearts must be open to hear our Savior’s voice, guiding us to witness to His love to all who are near to hear it. We know the richness of the promise of God’s kingdom, and that should not be something we can keep a secret.