When I was a little girl, back in the early 50’s, our wooden Motorola console cabinet radio was the entertainment center in our home before my family got our first television. I remember very clearly the look of it. In the middle of the tall blond wooden cabinet was the radio, topped by a record player on which we played our 78 rpm vinyl nursery rhyme records. You’d lift the heavy wooden top to place a record on the spindle in the middle of the turntable. On the lower front of the cabinet were two doors that opened to a storage space for records. On the front of the cabinet were round, shiny, beige Bakelite tuning knobs below the cloth-backed grill through which the sound came. I can remember many hours of sitting on the floor very close to that radio listening to the magic stories of “The Green Hornet” or “Hopalong Cassidy.” I suppose my parents listened to the news, weather, and baseball games.
What we heard coming from our radio, all those words of entertainment and information, was called “broadcasting”. I never made the connection between radio broadcasting and the old-fashioned way of planting seeds called broadcasting until years ago when I first studied this Sunday’s Gospel lesson, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, The Parable of the Sower.
Broadcasting, spreading seed by hand from a sack, throwing it with a flick of the wrist over a large area, is the way seeds were planted from antiquity up until roughly a hundred years ago. A farmer in Jesus’ time would have sown crops by broadcasting seed everywhere, hoping that at least a little would take root.
Today the means of transmitting words into the wide world, using so many types of media, has expanded far beyond the now-antique tube radio of my childhood. All kinds of words are broadcast—helpful, silly, disgusting, commercial—all powerful as they are spread to many listening ears. Jesus is not talking about the random spreading of just any words in his parable; he is speaking of the word of God—words of goodness, love, peace, truth, and redemption. His followers continue to be charged with broadcasting those words.
I invite you to join me in our Facebook livestreamed worship service this Sunday as we consider together The Parable of the Sower and what it has to say to us today.
May God bless you and keep you close.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Candyclick here to download this week's bulletin!