Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Our Lord always used illustrations from the daily life of that time. Many times He told stories of the peasant's life. So, our text for today is a parable of a sower. The simple key of this parable is found in verse 11: The seed is the Word of God.
If the seed is the Word of God, the first question is, Who is the sower? We must understand the answer on three levels. First, the sower is God himself. The Word comes from the mouth of God. Second, God has given the authority to proclaim His Word to the church, the body of those who believe in His Word. Third, the sower is the preacher called by the church and by Christ to proclaim the Word publicly in worship every Sunday. It is the same Word of God in each level; Furthermore, as God has commanded, the seed must be sown throughout the field. That is to say, the Word must be proclaimed everywhere in the world. As a song from my childhood says, the whole world is Godís own field. No matter the quality of the soil. No matter the difference in the results.
"The sower went out to sow his seed, and when he sowed it, a part fell by the side of the road, and it was trodden down, and the birds of the sky ate it up, and another part fell on the rock, and it was born and dried up, because it had no moisture. And another fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up together with it, and choked it: and another fell on the good ground, and was born, and brought forth fruit a hundredfold. "
Another question: What is the Word of God? We find this word written in the Holy Scriptures, the books that its authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The first part of the word is the law, the holy will of God for all to live as His children. However, because of our sinful nature, none of us can perfectly fulfill this law. Therefore, we deserve the wrath and punishment of God. None of us have fulfilled the law except Jesus Christ, true God and true man. Jesus fulfilled the law in our places, suffered the punishment of God in our places and because of iHs resurrection, we have a good relationship with God and the promise of eternal life. This is the gospel, the second part of the Word that we preach.
This message is for the whole world, because all have sinned, but God desires the salvation of all. And on the cross Christ paid the price of the sins of all mankind. His blood covers everything; Atonement is not limited. Salvation in Christ is an objective fact, it does not depend on our feelings or works. But not all will realize salvation, because it is a gift, and a gift can be rejected. Those who reject the gift of faith reject the promise of eternal life.
Therefore, the mission of the church is to proclaim the Word of God in the whole world. As our heavenly Father, our desire is for all to believe and be baptized. We want the full banks in our church. However, we must preach the word although not everyone receives in the same way.
There are many worries and distractions in this world. "This, then, is the parable: The seed is the word of God, and those on the side of the road are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they will not believe and be saved. And those on the rock are those who, having heard, receive the word with joy, but they have no roots, who for a time believe, but at the time of trial they depart, and the one that fell among thorns; They are the ones who hear, but when they go away, they are drowned by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bear no fruit, but the ones on the good ground, these are those who with a good and righteous heart keep the word heard, and bear fruit with patience. "
We need more than material needs. Everyone seeks the purpose of this earthly life, because without purpose, life is empty, althouh we have drink, food and the rest. Our reading of the Old Testament says (Amos 8: 11-12), "Behold, the days come, says the Lord Jehovah, in which I will send hunger to the earth, not hunger for bread, nor thirst for water, but to hear the word of Jehovah. And they will wander from sea to sea: from the north to the east they will go looking for the word of the Lord, and they will not find it. "
We can find the purpose of life in the Scriptures. But, the teaching of the Scriptures is difficult to bear. They say that we do not have to win the favor or love of God by our own strength, but we need a Savior. Therefore, many people do not believe.
In any case, the church must proclaim the Word of God, not only to those who believe easily, but also to those who have difficulties in trusting in the love and mercy of God. This mission determines the structure of our worship. First, we confess our sins and receive absolution. We listen to the preaching, the proclamation of the law and the Gospel. Afterwards, those who have examined their consciences receive the body and blood of Christ in the Holy Supper. And we respond to the gifts of the Word and the sacrament with our praises and offerings.
Preaching is like a radio or television broadcast. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Therefore, preaching by radio or television is valid. From 1940 to this 21st century, the Lutheran Church of Venezuela supported Christ for All Nations, a ministry of preaching by radio. Sadly, this ministry has fallen because of the crisis in our country. But, this kind of ministry is valid.
On the other hand, in the sacraments, God touches each one of us with his Word and the visible elements. In baptism, God called us by name, each one as his son or daughter. In the Holy Supper, each one receives the body and blood of Christ with his mouth. The duty of the church is to support the preaching and administration of the sacraments in any place.
The duty of the called and ordained pastor is not to seek his own benefit or interest. As Paul says in the epistle (2 Corinthians 11: 19-12: 9), "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.Ē The preacher must be prepared to preach no matter the consequences to himself.
Then, the Word comes from the mouth of God for the salvation of All the men. The mission of the church is to proclaim the Word in the whole world. Like the church, we want to help our neighbors with their material needs, but above this, we want to provide spiritual bread, in which people have the purpose in their life, the promise of eternal life and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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