The parable of the sower from Luke 8:4-15, told as a song.
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John Hartley 2008
June 02, 2008
A farmer went out and he scattered his seed.
Some fell on the path and the birds had a feed.
Some fell on the rocks and grew shoots in the air,
but in the hot sunshine it died in the glare.
Some fell among thistles and thornbush and briar,
and as the corn grew it was choked and expired.
But some fell on good soil, and once it was grown,
the crop was a hundred times more than was sown.
Seeing, do you see?
Hearing, do you hear?
What did Jesus mean?
Listen! Draw near!
The seed is the word of our God from above,
But how will the people respond to his love?
The path are the people who don't give a hoot:
God's word is ignored and it never takes root.
The rocks are the people who come on all keen:
they welcome the word, but their faith is extreme.
They don't stand the pressures, the heat of the day,
and when trouble comes they just wither away.
Which ground has God found?
Can God make a start
when he sows his word
into your heart?
The thorns are the troubles and cares of this life,
and as the faith grows it encounters the strife:
the worries of riches conflict with the Word,
and threaten to stop the Lord's voice being heard.
The good soil is those who are noble of heart:
when they hear God's word they allow it to start
transforming their spirit and changing their soul.
Their fruit is salvation: God's word makes them whole.
God's word makes them whole.
Words and music copyright © John Hartley 2008. All rights reserved.
Based on Luke 8:4-15.
Story behind the song
I penned these lyrics late one evening after having preached on the parable of the sower in Luke's gospel. I think my mind was probably on the old favourite "The wise man built his house upon the rock" (based on the morning's gospel reading), and I was wondering whether it was possible to put other sayings of Jesus into such memorable songs? In fact this song isn't anything like so memorable, but it's a step on the way.
Between the parable and its interpretation is a difficult verse which poses the question of how parables work and why Jesus spoke in them? So interspersed with the narrative of the parable are two questions. Have you heard? What is your heart like? It's my prayer that the hearers might ask themselves these questions - I think that's what Jesus was trying to achieve.