That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow." (Matthew 13:1-9, NRSV)
Thus begins a favorite parable (you'll find the rest here), a story ready to spin your head around completely as you wonder whether you are the soil or the sower or even the weeds or the birds. You can get somewhere from any perspective, or so it seems to me.
This week I will be away taking three days of
Continuing Education time to attend a conference given by the Interim Ministry
Network. I'm serving a church committed to undertaking what the Network would
call an "intentional interim" period, an opportunity to
look within and without, to assess the church's health as the body of Christ as well as its place in the community, and in doing so to have a better idea of where God
might be leading in the future.
It's no small thing to look honestly at
ourselves, as individuals or as a church family. Those of us who have ever been
in therapy know that we may come to a realization that feels as true as anything
we've ever known only to have those around us say, "Well, I just don't see it
that way!" or "I don't remember that!" It's a delicate balance, bringing our truth into
the present without hurting others who may not see things the way we do. Yet we
need to tell the truth, with love, even when it may hurt, and even when it may
not be received as fully as we would hope.
I hope I'll come back with new and better tools for helping bring in the harvest, and I'm praying it will be abundant.
(I think I'll be online while I'm away; hope so, anyway.)