Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Letting It Grow
By Dr. Dan Wuori
(NOTE: This week’s children’s sermon makes use of flower seeds and a clear cup (or small jar) of dirt/potting soil.)
I like to plant things this time of year – especially flowers. So, if you’ll watch your feet, I’m going to plant a few right now. (Toss several seeds on the floor around the children’s feet.)
Great! Be careful not to step on them and when we come back next week I think we’ll have some big, beautiful flowers growing right here! (Ideally the children will recognize the error in this method – leaving seeds exposed on an indoor floor – and point it out. Depending on the group’s response, however, you may need to stop here to question them about whether the seeds will actually grow – and why not.)
You may be right. You know different types of flowers grow best in different places, but I’m not sure of any that just grow on the floor. (Why? What is the floor lacking? e.g. nutrients, water, room for roots, etc.)
How about this? (Bring out cup/jar of dirt.) What if we planted them here instead?
Yes, I think this is a much better place. The dirt will protect the seeds and give them all the right nutrients…and room to grow strong roots.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us a parable. That’s a story that helps to teach us a lesson.
In this parable he talks about planting seeds as a way to help us understand the way to be closest to God.
He tells us that when people hear God’s word but don’t try to understand it (or maybe just don’t listen), that’s almost the same as planting a seed in a place that it will never grow.
What about people who really hear God’s word and show that they understand it? People who live by God’s rules – following the commandments and showing kindness to one another? Can you guess what Jesus tells us happens to those seeds?
You’re right! Jesus tells us that those seeds have been planted in just the right soil – and that they’ll grow and grow.
So today Jesus uses a story about seeds to help us remember to open our ears and our hearts to God. Will you do that this week?
Good. Let’s pray.
Help us to hear your word and understand your ways. Plant your seeds in our hearts and let them grow and grow.
Copyright 2008, Dan Wuori. Used by permission.