What happens to a plant when it does not produce any seeds?
I am a backyard farmer. I have planted so many things over the years—these are just a few of my memories:
- My grampa’s garden: all the vegetables and fruits that I raided—rows and rows that he cultivated
- Our own garden in Montana—fighting off the birds from those strawberries
- My backyard now: the heat, the soil/trying to make the grass grow throughout
- The hollyhocks—for so many years I had volunteers, now nothing ☹
- The creeping fig—could not kill it, now it is a blessing
This morning our scripture deals with growing things; specifically with a farmer “casting” seed—that means throwing it out across the ground.
This parable that our Lord told would resonate with the folks to whom he was speaking because they were farmers. They had to grow food just to feed their families! Their gardens were not for looks or enjoyment or to have a fulfilling hobby—they had to have that food.
These folks did not have that handy little device that I use for feeding my lawn—that box with a handle that sprays the food pellets around—they had to do it by hand.
Those people also did not have the benefit of a garden hose or a spigot in order to water their seeds—they lived in a hostile land—much like ours would be if we did not have the Arizona Canal or the Salt River Project.
Growing things for them was a difficult, mandatory activity. To emphasize how important it was, think of this: once you cast your seed, it is gone. Used. No more. If it does not grow, then you are done and your family starves.
God used parables to teach. In my training, we learned what was good “educational theory,” and using examples to which people can relate is one of the best ways to teach people. That is why God told parables. We learn that way.