Bringing the Text to Life

The Four R's Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed is a basic lesson in key survival skills for the 21st century: Roots, Rituals, Relationships, Realities

In the so-called 'good old days'--wherever and whenever those were--public schools used to boast that they taught the '3-Rs'--'reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic--all to the tune of a hickory stick.'

In the West Virginia holler from whence my family hails, there were '4-R's' taught--reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic and the road to Roanoke (That is the fastest way out of West Virginia!). Apparently, this was the local version of the maxim that a good education can take you anywhere you want to go.

There are another '4-R's' that will get you even further than Roanoke. These 4-R's are the key survival skills of the 21st century: roots, rituals, relationships and realities. Jesus' parable of the sower and the seeds suggests the power of these '4-R's' is such that when all are positively present, they can bring us to the very brink of the kingdom of heaven.

In Jesus' parable, the sower casts out seeds which fall on four different environments. The environment determines the seeds' ability to ...





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