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J-P spoke to us tonight from the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13:1-22). We are people created in God’s image (Gen 1:27) who are sinners; we must never put ourselves on a pedestal, but must also realise that we have the capability to follow God and to lead others to God too.

Growing things takes time and patience; we must not be discouraged if people don’t seem to respond swiftly. For salvation to come, our spiritual ears need opening and this parable shows us that understanding can take time and depends on the soil (our hearts.) For some, the path is so dry it has no soil left. Hearts are closed; hurts have wounded people to the point that they don’t believe God can love or accept them. For some, there is great enthusiasm in the moment (perhaps at events like Big Church Day Out, for example!), but faith doesn’t last on the rocky road of life. For others, the thorns of doubt and unbelief have strangled faith (perhaps the death of a loved one has become a stumbling-block, for example). In all these cases, we need to show love and patience, for faith can ultimately only flourish in good soil.

As we seek to share the good news with others, let’s put Jesus on the pedestal and be there for each other, showing patience with each other’s rate of growth, for we are all at different stages. Plants ultimately need light to grow and thrive, and Jesus is the light of the world. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.’ (2 Cor 4:5-6)