It was great to see everyone for our Family Worship this morning. We had 34 adults and 12 children. The Greigs told the story of the Parable of the Sower using a puppet show made by their eldest Mia and James Greig explained the story to us.
Tim Clapp and Chris Ellis led the worship (the Wright family leading the actions) and the Duke family led our prayers.
Here is a recording of the service
Here is the talk
The Seedbed of our Hearts
Today I’m talking about sowing seeds – who has ever sown any seeds? Hold up your A paddle or give me a wave.
Seeds are amazing aren’t they, from a tiny thing like this (hold up) you can end up with a huge plant with flowers and fruit and things to eat on it.
So, to start we’re going to talk about where seeds can grow best, but first I want to tell you a story, Today’s story is from Matthew Chapter 13, verses 1 – 9, taken from the rhyming bible. This is: The parable of the Sower.
STORY – read by Verity, as puppet show.
So, this is a story Jesus told to a crowd of people, they were all eager to hear Jesus talk about how to live as part of Gods family. And as we’ve been learning over the last few months – he used a story to make his point, a story called a parable.
Jesus said that the seed is like God’s word or God’s message, and the different places the seeds land are like different sort of people and different peoples hearts – because we are all different aren’t we.
BUT What is God’s word or message? Is it A – his favourite word from the dictionary, or B – what he says to us through the bible about how to best live out the lives he’s planned for us?
Yes , well done God talks to us through the bible and through prayer to help us live a life as he intended, as he planned, to live in relationship with him, in his family.
What should we do with God’s word? A) Listen to & obey it or B) enjoy it then put it back on a shelf?
Yes, so by listening to God and doing what we says, we’ll develop a closer relationship with him, we get to know him and he gets to know us, we do things he wants because we love him.
Jesus talks about how weeds can come and get in the way of that relationship – what do you think he means by the weeds – is is A) nettles and brambles and bind weed or is it B) being jealous of a friends bike, or not forgiving someone?
Yes, B – Jesus says the weeds are like things that get in the way of living out life as God planned, these can be different for everyone, but we need to be aware of the weeds and not get them grow around us.
Now, Which soil do you think a person who listen to and obey God’s word is like? A) – the stony soil Or B) the fertile, nice soil?
Yes, like the plants in the story, plants (and us humans) need food or nourishment and a good soil structure to let their roots develop –we also need a sturdy place to live – in good soil a tree can grow strong deep roots, which then help it stand strong in storms or droughts, it’s a bit like us, if our roots are shallow, as soon as a hard experience comes along we’re likely to tumble – but if our roots are deep and strong in God we’ll be able to cope when things are hard.
What sort of things can we do to make our hearts like the good soil – A – eat compost daily or B – spend time praying and talking to God and trusting him, becoming more like Jesus?
God wants our hearts to listen to what he has to say, he wants us to grow to me more like Jesus, to obey him, to love him, to love others, to trust him – but for that to happen we need to have a heart and (head) that is willing to let God in, to let God grow in us.
So the key question is What is the seedbed/ the soil of your life, What soil type is your heart – dry and stony or rich and fertile?
But you’re not just born or stuck with one type of heart – you can change it and it takes a bit of doing. My garden had terrible chalky gravely soil, so over several winters I spent hours digging, removing stones and weeds, adding manure, compost – and now flowers and vegetables flourish. Through spending time with God, listening, talking to, worshipping, submitting to and trusting AND weeding those pesky weeds – we are daily improving the quality of or heart to let God truly flourish in us.
Let us pray:
Heavenly father, open our hearts Lord to hear you more clearly and love you more dearly, over the coming week, help us to develop fertile hearts, hearts that will help us to become more like you and hearts that your roots will grow deeper and deeper.
In Jesus name Amen.