Being Seed

By Emily Hylden

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 13:18-23

18 “Hear, then, the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet such a person has no root but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”


How helpless seeds are! I’ve never seen a seed shift itself over to a better patch of soil (though I have seen them grow crooked to get a bit more sunshine!), and I’ve never noticed a sprout bludgeon back weeds that choked it (though I wouldn’t put it past a Venus flytrap). And yet, I think that’s what we are — these helpless seeds in today’s parable, with very little control over our circumstances and conditions, with small, if any, recourse to evil that may befall us. This may be a frightening thing to contemplate.

Our comfort is found in the sower, or the gardener. Who is it except our Lord? We can only ever depend on God to sweep path-strewn seeds over into the garden bed, to notice and heed the cries of a seedling overcome by choking brambles, to water and scatter sunshine for those sprouts in need of sustenance. And who better to trust with our very lives than the one who carefully created it in the first place? It is not an easy task, nor a one-time commitment, but we seeds may learn to rest in the truth that we are noticed and known by our heavenly Sower, cherished, as we are committed to his tender care.

The Rev. Emily R. Hylden resides with her priest husband and three sons in Lafayette, Louisiana. Find her podcasting at Emily Rose Meditations.

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