The Soil of our Hearts
February 20, 2023
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
As snow begins to melt, many of us eagerly anticipate the transition of seasons and look forward to spring. We await the time when we can put away our snow boots and heavy coats and enjoy more days with sunshine.
This week also marks an important transition in church seasons. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and for many church backgrounds, it marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is the 40 days leading to Easter. People celebrate Lent in many different ways. Some fast from food, others fast from things such as sweets or social media. Still others find ways to add prayer into their habits. However, you understand Lent and whether you celebrate it or not, this period before Easter is a significant time.
It is a time to repent and be vulnerable. It is an invitation to take an honest look at our hearts. It can be uncomfortable, but in honest reflection and repentance we are invited to more fully embrace God’s love and grace, celebrated at Easter.
The Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:1-23 provides one good structure to honestly evaluate our hearts as we enter this season. In this parable Jesus relates our hearts to different kinds of soil. In each example he challenges us to look at the state of our own hearts. Does the word of the Lord fall on our hearts like a path and bounce off, leaving no impact? Do we have a desire to grow but our heart is so crowded with worries that we leave no room for God’s truth? Or maybe we were passionate about our faith at one point, but have slowly dwindled due to shallow roots?
These questions are difficult to swallow and hard to answer. But whatever our answer may be, I invite you to take time to reflect on the status of your heart. Be honest with yourself and with God. And as you do, invite your Heavenly Father to remind you of his love for you and grow deep roots in your heart.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, We thank you for signs of spring and your providence in every season. As we enter into the season of Lent, may we use this time to reflect on all you have done for us and be honest. Work in our hearts to reveal the areas we may be crowding you out or planting shallow roots. As we do so, remind us of your love and grace shown to us through Jesus, in whose name we pray, Amen.
Blessings in your week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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