The Holy Gospel: July 10, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23

Meditation:  “Do What You Are”

In this familiar parable, we usually put the emphasis upon the different kinds of soil.  But today, I want us to look at the farmer who scattered the seed.

Jesus said it simply, ” A sower went out to sow.”  I have come to believe that this is the secret to discipleship.

In other words, disciples do what they are.  What does a sower do?  He sows.

The secret to discipleship is this:  do what you do, and do it for Jesus.  Jean Pierre de Caussade said this in the seventeenth century when he defined holiness as doing the next thing you have to do and doing it for Jesus.

The biggest mistake we make in disciple-making is that we make it seem unnatural—something like having to go to school and learn a foreign language.  In the same we start out saying, “I don’t speak Russian,” we respond to the idea of discipleship by saying, “I’m not a disciple.”

Then….if we hang in there and give it a try, it feels like being trained to do something altogether different from what we normally do.  I mean, there even has to be a “course” for it.

Jesus starts at another place—he starts with what we already know; he starts with what we already do.  A sower goes out to—sow.   The first questions in discipleship are, “What do you already know?  What do you already do?  What is your normal routine?”

Think about this, and think about it in relation to Jesus.  I am confident that if you do this, you will see overlaps between your human life and your discipleship life.  You will have thoughts come to your mind about how you might live the life you are already living, and do it for Jesus.

Not long ago, I spoke to a men’s group.  An attorney was present.  I spoke about the “naturalness” of discipleship.  At the end of the evening, he stayed behind to visit, confessing that he had been a member of the church for years, but had not ever thought about discipleship that way.

He said very simply, “I will now go home and think about what it means to be an attorney for Jesus.”

A sower went out to sow.  Do what you are.


About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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