Sunday, November 4, 2012
Not Sawdust But Seeds--Day 4 of a Town Girl Touched by the Farming Life
Jesus of Nazareth worked the occupation of carpentry for 30 years. One of his sidekicks was a despised tax collector, and several companions were fishermen. Yet, he did not tell parables using woodworking or collecting taxes as illustrations. What was one of his favorite references? Farming.
Growing crops and/or raising animals touched every family in Jesus' audience. If individuals did not participate daily in these tasks, they were well acquainted with these activities. Unfortunately, some in our society today are too far removed from farming to understand the specific details of such illustrations.
Yet, both farming and shepherding carry an aura of something basic, wholesome, and life giving. I think this is one of the reasons why even townspeople are drawn to these types of parables. We feel, if we can understand Jesus' farming illustrations, we can be closer to Him. Of course, comprehending any passages of the Bible can strengthen our relationships with God, but there is something that stirs the soul just a little bit more with farming parables.
I suppose it goes back to creation. God created the land and plants before he created humans from the dust of the ground. When He did create humans, He put them in charge of tending, overseeing, subduing, and caring for the world He had created, especially the plants and animals. Pondering God's truths in the context of His creation can make us feel we have a more intimate relationship with Him.
Sometime take your family outside—maybe even dig up a little dirt to feel and smell—as you read and discuss a parable involving farming. Consider if your family is touched in a bigger way by being physically reminded of God's creation while trying to understand a related spiritual reality. Remember, when Jesus was talking about spreading the gospel, He did not compare it to spreading sawdust; He instructed them to sow seeds, which is to be done by townspeople and country folk alike.