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PROLOGUE TO THE WORD


July 16, 2017

HOSPITABLE SPACE TO GROW

Isaiah 55:10-13
One of the primary messages in this chapter from Second Isaiah is one of hope. The audience for these verses is comprised of Israelites who are nearing the end of the Babylonian exile. Through the prophet Isaiah, God reassures the exiles that just as the rain and snow water the earth, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, the word of God “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Psalm 65:9-13
This psalm of praise focuses on the many ways God, the Creator, remains involved in the world. The verses for this week focus on a God who “visits the earth and waters it”, and who “provides the people with grain.” In the closing verses, it is the hills and valleys and meadows themselves that “sing together for joy” at the bounty that is provided.

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
The Gospel lesson this week is usually referred to as the parable of the Sower. Jesus tells the disciples a parable about a sower who sows seeds – some of the seeds get eaten by birds, some seeds grow but then wither, some grow then get strangled by weeds, and some fall on good soil, producing grain a hundredfold. Then Jesus explains the meaning of the parable – the seeds represent the word of God, and we are the recipients of that word, that “seed.”

Sermon Notes
All three passages for this week share images of sowing seeds and watering and reaping – yet each passage is slightly different in the way these images are used and what they are meant to represent. Let’s explore these images together.

Shalom, Pastor Lisa Bowersock