PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me pay as much attention to you as I do to the things I grow! Amen.
Jesus told a story: "A farmer went out to plant seeds. Some seeds fell on the path and birds ate them. Some fell on rocky ground and grew quickly, then died because they didn't have deep roots. Some fell into weeds, where they grew but then got smothered by the weeds and died. But some seeds fell on good ground and gave huge crops." He finished by saying, "Whoever has ears, hear this."
Are you good at growing things? Some kids remember to water the family houseplants every week or keep an eye on the tomatoes in the garden. Others have a talent for raising animals through 4H and win prizes at county fairs for their hard work.
Whether you're growing green beans or nurturing an egg all the way to becoming a prize-winning chicken, it takes attention and patience to grow something. If you lose interest, you'll lose your vegetables or animals.
That was Jesus' point in this week's Gospel (Matthew 13:1-23). Jesus talked about seeds planted by a farmer. The seeds that got scattered all over the place didn't grow well; they either ended up getting eaten by birds before they could become plants, or they grew a bit, then died. Only the seeds that fell on good ground and got good nurturing turned into healthy plants that created food for people.
Jesus was really talking about people. God is like a farmer who gives us all the seeds of faith. Some people never get to go to church, so they don't know about God in the first place; others may be enthusiastic about it, but lose interest. It's the people who stick with it, even when it seems hard or boring, who develop a good connection with God that they can depend on all the time.
Kids who are good at growing things have already learned that lesson. Raising tomatoes or baby animals can be hard and boring sometimes! But when you stick with it, something good comes out of it -- and God deserves as least as much attention as your prize-winning chickens.