Something to think about
‘We plough the fields and scatter/The good seed on the land’ may be our agricultural practice, but I understand that in the Middle East in New Testament times, the practice was to scatter the seed and plough the land up afterwards. I’m open to correction, but it would go some way to explain the broadcasting of the seed by the sower in this parable. There’s no mention of ploughing, though, and a substantial proportion of the crop failed.
We see the tragedy of this in Jesus’ exposition, in that it stands for those within whom God’s word fails to flourish. But there’s a further tragedy in that, for some farmers in the world today, this kind of crop failure is a reality, however carefully they’ve cultivated. Climate change exacerbates drought and desertification, whilst heat makes plants wither, and floods and cyclones sweep away harvests.
Christian Aid campaigns for action on the climate crisis through initiatives like Make Polluters Pay. Climate change is the biggest challenge we face as a world, but by joining together to put pressure on those who can make the biggest difference, and by changing our behaviour ourselves, we can work to stop its worst effects.
Something to do
You're probably familiar with the small steps you can take to save energy and reduce fossil fuel consumption. Recommit to these this week: consider changing your home or church energy supplier to one that favours renewable energy; look at how you can reduce your energy consumption; travel in greener ways.
We know there are large structural changes that need to happen in our society too. Have a look at Christian Aid's climate campaigns and think about how you might get involved.
Something to pray
God of all creation, we pray to you for those whose crops have failed and who despair at the challenges ahead because of the world’s changing climate. Teach us to love your world, to love one another, to love you and to love ourselves, so that we may work together for full and fruitful harvests for all.