07/16/17 - "The Right Kind of Dirt" - Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
     Now that I’m a grandfather, I have been thinking a lot about my own grandparents.  My grandpa on mom’s side, was actually my step-grandfather; my mom’s dad passed away many years before I was born.  So Grandpa was just grandpa. His parents were polish immigrants to Canada, and were very poor.  He never got past the fourth grade, and so he wasn’t well educated, but in so many ways my grandpa was smart.  He farmed a small plot of land which produced just enough for he and grandma, and had a few cows, a few pigs, and a number of chickens.  When it came to machinery, Grandpa could fix anything.  If it had a motor, he could repair it.  And beyond all of that, Grandpa knew (from what I could tell at the time), everything there was to know about farming.  One day, when I was about five, he and I were walking out to the barn in late August.  I could see the wheat swaying with the wind in the distance.  It looked rather like a golden ocean.  As we walked through the big farm yard, I asked him, “Grandpa, why didn’t you plant the wheat here in all this space in the yard?  We could have had a lot more bread!”  (I was really into grandma’s bread and was saddened when it occasionally ran out!)  He said with his heavy Polish accent, “It isn’t the right kind of dirt…it’s too hard.”  I didn’t understand.  There were all kinds of grass and weeds growing in the yard.  And besides, dirt is dirt, right?  That day, after the work in the barn was done, Grandpa took me for a walk and showed me the different kinds of dirt.  He wanted me to understand what he meant by the “right kind of dirt.”  I don’t know that I really got it, because stuff was growing in every different type of dirt, but it was a very nice walk with Grandpa.
      In this weekend’s text, which is the parable of the sower, Jesus explains his story by turning his attention away from the Sower, whose wild and wasteful practice probably traumatized every farmer listening to him, to the soil.  Clearly, not all dirt is the same.
      In this sermon we will explore the nature of the good soil that we are all called upon to be.  
~Pr. Luther