Word for the day day by Christian Education Forum

 The Reforming Church

Matthew 13:1-11
“And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matt. 13:8-9)

This Sunday is dedicated as Reformation Sunday. The nineteenth century Reformation in the Malankara Church is an unforgettable ‘memory’ in the history of the Church. The vision of reformation is to Remold, Reconstruct and Re-interpret the identity of the Church as Christ centered and Word centered community.
Many biblical interpreters see Matthew chapter 13 as chapter of parables and parable as the basic metaphor of the whole Gospel. Seven parables are told here by Jesus to discover the truth of the Kingdom of God. Today’s Gospel portion is a beautiful farm parable as the farmer holding seeds in his hand that he himself preserved for sowing expecting good yield. The farmer did see seeds fall on the good soil, where it produced a crop of hundred, sixty or thirty times. The seed is the Word, and the sower is God.  Based on the above given scripture portion we are focusing our meditation on the main theme The Reforming Church.
Reformation as resistance to the dominant oppressing culture
The parable of the sower speaks about four types of ground, the seed falls on different types of ground, three among them being waste lands. We are to understand, of course, that the sower is God, the seed is the Kingdom, and the various types of ground represent you and me. The question is really, what is the state of our hearts when the seeds are sown with us? With that in mind, let us examine the various conditions of the context mentioned in this parable. Are we pro to the culture of distracted mind vs.4 (waysides), hardened heart vs.5&6 (Stony place) and defeated mind vs.7 (among thorns). The culture of hard heart, shallow mind which is rocky in nature and distracted and defeated mind like thorny ground thoughts are not focused failed to nurture the Word within us. The word of God demands a creative response, that is, are we able to become the passionate symbols of resistance to the culture of shallow, rootless, unproductive and fruitless spirituality that leads to the wastage in our lives?
Reformation a search for deep rooted and fruitful life in Christ
The different kinds of ground on which the seed falls represent the different ways in which the word of God is received. The degree of receptivity depends on the individual person and the particular circumstances of his or her life. The parable provides hope and encouragement, in that the sower succeeds ultimately in producing a crop from the seed that fell on ‘good soil’. Vs. 8 &9 But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. When the seeds fall on deep, unencumbered soil, they bear abundantly. It constitutes an invitation to the listener to think reflectively on the human application of the figure.
Thus the parables spoken to the crowds do not simply convey information, nor mask it, but challenge the hearers. “He, who has ears to hear, let him hear” (vs.9) this is not a call for all to listen. Rather, it is a call to say goodbye to the culture of listening only and moving forward to the culture of being and doing spirituality where life is deeply rooted and fruitful in relation to Christ.

O Lord, help us, to be sincere in our responses that the seed of the Kingdom of God may yield hundred, sixty and thirty folds of harvest. Amen
Thought for the day
Kingdom values become more fruitful not through adopting but through letting the seed of the Kingdom of God to grow up having roots in hearts and minds becoming our own.
Rev. Renny Varghese
Virginia, MTC

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church

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