The parable that begins the 13th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel is a familiar one to most of us. It is one of the parables our Lord not only gives to us, explaining the working of the Kingdom of Heaven, but He interprets it for us as well. He decodes the images He gives so we might have an accurate understanding of what is going on. Now, I know Jesus calls this the Parable of the Sower, but I have always thought that perhaps a better name would have been the Parable of the Soils,
Every year on the Sunday after Easter, we read from John chapter 20 and hear again the appearance of our resurrected Lord to His disciples. Every year, whether it is in the midst of a pandemic and you are watching church from your living room or you are sitting in church with your family, we get caught up in the story of doubting Thomas and his desire to poke around in the holes of Jesus’ hands. It is a powerful text, from which we get perhaps the greatest confession of faith ever spoken.
It is a most pleasurable and painful need of His image: To speak, to sing, to form, to make. Our hands were sculpted to press a moldless form into beauty. Our eyes were crafted to dream color into a dark grey vision. Our lips were shaped to taste the ever-sweeter sensations that we could conceive. We were fearfully and wonderfully designed to create like the Creator.
“I thought we decided we weren’t going to exchange gifts?” she mumbled to her husband after receiving a surprise gift from her brother.
Have you ever received a surprise gift from someone that made you feel inadequate or even angry?
I remember getting one the greatest gifts ever when I was 8 years old. It was a Star Wars laser game. It came with a real laser gun and a motorized spinning wheel of storm trooper targets. I could not believe it when I saw it. I ripped open the box and started putting it together. I cannot remember if I even said, “Thanks,” but I knew my parents were pretty happy with my response. As a parent, nothing gives me more joy than to see my kids play and use presents I get them. I do not need any elaborate thanks. Or, another example is when my wife makes her usual wonderful meals, nothing thrills her more than the guests gobbling it down.
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