The God of Mystery has gathered us together and gotten our attention.
We are here to be renewed and reminded – reminded of what it means to be faithful followers of Christ.
The Apostle Paul said we will reap what we sow, so let us sow seeds that will benefit all of humanity.
With God to strengthen us, may we never grow weary in doing good.
May we sow seeds of peace and harmony.
May we sow seeds of compassion and justice.
May we sow seeds of hope and wholeness.
May we sow seeds that will feed the Realm of God.
“The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.” It’s a mystery. It’s a miracle.
But we know that if we plant carrot seeds, we harvest carrots; if we plant tomato seeds, we harvest tomatoes; if we plant thistle seeds, we harvest thistles. As the Apostle Paul said, “You reap whatever you sow.”
We are a week from the first “Bringing Peace to a Conflicted World” discussion and only three weeks from the observance of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace… and our own nation is once again engaged in saber-rattling. It seems like a good time to consider what kind of seeds we’re planting.
Listen to more of what Paul wrote to the Galatian Church:
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.
Someone has said that peace is more than the absence of war. That is certainly true, but the absence of war is without question good for all. So while we work, I hope, for good in all aspects of life – sufficient food and shelter, a healthy sense of self-worth, spiritual wholeness, and equal rights – over all, I hope we sow seeds of peace.
I found this poem by Indian poet Drsudarsan Damodar Prasad:
Those who sow
Seeds of peace,
Will not wait for
The Winds of change,
Or the merciful rains
For them to sprout!
Rather they will dig deep
For the elusive moisture,
In a rocky terrain,
Under a fierce sun
Water the sprouts
Along with your drops
Of toil and strife,
No longer appeal
To doves and men,
But a moment of rest:
Another rare moment
Of peace does;
And love stays
At least for the week-end!
Jesus was a man of peace.
He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
He taught about peace in interpersonal relationships:
If your brother sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
I think we all know how Jesus treated Gentiles or tax collectors – with love and compassion and respect.
At his arrest, “… one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”
So what seeds are we sowing? Are we sowing seeds of unity and peace, or of division and discord? Are we following the example of Jesus the Christ, the Prince of Peace, or of the powers of this present darkness? When we look into the face of a stranger do we see a sister or brother, or do we see “the other?”
There are those who will argue that violence is necessary. There are those who will present logical explanations for “just war.” But peace is a mystery. We plant the seeds, and then “The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once [we go in with] the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
I hope we will commit ourselves to plant seeds of peace, and to harvest the benefits for all of God’s people. What are we waiting for?