This past Sunday, I preached on the Parable of the Sower [Matthew 13]. Many of you know this parable, and I have preached it on more than one occasion in different contexts. For this week, I linked the idea of the soil and the seed that we sow to the interconnectedness of all creation.
Many weeks when I preach, I talk with my good friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Mandy Todd. Mandy is also a co-host with me on the Jesus Has Left the Building, podcast that we co-created during the global pandemic. We obviously love to ‘process’ exciting ideas together. She preaches every week at a Lutheran nursing home in Kansas. This week we discussed this parable, and we both aligned with the idea that all of God’s creation matters.
I wanted to share a bit of what she shared with her community: She said, “But for me, the thing that has really stuck with me this week is a conversation we had about the seeds that fell on the path. The parable begins first with seeds that fall on a path, and the birds come and immediately eat them up. If you don’t think too hard, you can just forget about those seeds. The seeds disappeared with the birds who fly away.
"But, if you think just a little bit about those seeds, things start to get complicated. Birds are incredibly important to our ecological world, because they spread seeds all around the world through - you guessed it - their poop. They eat seeds, and the seeds pass through their systems. In fact, moving through a bird’s digestive system gives seeds a dose of fertilizer high in nitrogen, which can help fuel growth. Some plants, like the wild cherry and bird cherry have evolved their dispersal strategies to become dependent on birds, requiring that their seeds pass through a bird’s digestive system to prepare for germination. Huh, that seed on the path takes on a different meaning when you think about it for a second.”
Following my sermon on Sunday, I passed out a few tiny bottles of poppy seeds. My hope was that these seeds would be a ritual or even a prayer to all of creation and to the justice issue of climate change. I sowed my seeds into the feeding trough planter on my front porch and into the rocks onto the side of my house as a prayer for climate change justice.
Lastly, if you have an interest in climate change and planting seeds [no matter where they may fall] consider joining the Climate Action Ministry Team. This team is working on the United Church of Christ designation. To learn more about the designation check this out: UCC Creation Justice Link
As always, I am available for more conversations!