The parable of the Sower comes to my mind often. The parable is more complex than we often think as it reflects both present and end-times teachings. But I want to make it pretty simple today. I believe the two words that best represent the parable are the Sower and Fruit.
The first, the Sower, is all about the nature of God. The Sower (God) is all about sowing seed. It is His nature. He sows glimmers of His Kingdom. He sows the dreams that old men will dream (Joel 2:28). He sows the visions that young men see (Joel 2:28). He sows His Spirit into the world filled with people He loves. He gives us seeds of hope and wholeness in a world that tries to destroy both. And sometimes WE are the seeds.
That is so evident in the missions of Abbeville UMC. We go out into all types of soil. Some people listen. Some people ignore us. I think some people even think we are misguided by the emphasis we place on giving, going and doing. But I believe our missional focus is the lifeblood of our church because it involves us being immersed in the work of Jesus. We are part of the sowing that is God's nature!
But there is a 2nd part of this parable ... fruit. God doesn't sow without expectation. His desire is for the seed to bear fruit. And it can bear fruit anywhere! There is an Old Testament parable of an eagle and a cedar sprig. The eagle (representing Jesus) plants a cedar sprig (representing rebellious Israel) in a very unlikely place ... high on a lofty mountain. Because God is in the sowing and planting of this sprig, it grows ... and oh, how it grows! It becomes a place where "birds of every kind find shelter in its branches!" The Sower is using us to sow. We plant Christ in the work of our missions. We are sown into the soil of many places. This coming Sunday we will find out about what God is doing in His garden in Belize ... a garden in which He has sown us as seed. I think you will find that lives are being changed ... God's Word is going out, and we know God's Word will not fail to produce His desired purpose. Much fruit is being produced in Belize because of our/your obedience. And I believe the Sower is honored. Randy