Posted by: Pauline | September 17, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday September 24

James 1:19-27

In a knowledge-based society like ours, people get used to thinking of learning as primarily being about adding to our store of information. Even in church, it’s easy to think that we have learned God’s word when we have heard or read it, we understand what it means, and perhaps we have even memorized some verses. But James reminds us that the word does not benefit us unless we actually put it into practice.

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Christians who have found great joy in knowing Jesus may wonder why so many other people do not respond as they do to the gospel message. In this parable Jesus describes some of the reasons. Some people simply don’t understand what they have been told. Perhaps they interpret the message through the filter of what they have heard or experienced about religion in the past. Others may be attracted to the prospect of joy or forgiveness or the love of the faith community, but lose interest when they find out that it means being willing to give up the safe or comfortable life they are accustomed to.

We might be tempted to look for only those people who seem most receptive to the gospel message and focus on them, but God is generous in sowing His word even among those who do not ultimately respond to His call. Unlike good soil, people’s receptivity to God is often hard to discern until the word has been sown.

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