Preparing for Worship: The Parable of the Soils

Preparing for Worship: The Parable of the Soils

John Haralson   •   January 19, 2018

Vincent van Gogh, The Sower, 1888

Illuminate my unknowing,  
Unseen one whom never dies.

John Van Deusen, Illuminate My Unknowing 


Dear Friends,

Pastoral ministry is simple: 

          Keep pointing others and yourself to Jesus.

But, to say it is simple does not mean that it’s easy. There are all kinds of barriers, setbacks, and sinister spiritual forces that steadily oppose God’s work in our lives and in the world. 

Jesus was not naively unaware of the dangers―both inside of us and outside of us―that we face. In Luke 8, Jesus tells his first parable―one of his best-known parables―frequently referred to as the parable of the sower. The parable he begins with is a sobering one that clearly lays out many of the spiritual threats we face and teaches us how they can shut down God’s redemptive work. 

You read that correctly―God’s work can be thwarted. The Apostle Paul takes a similar approach when he warns us not to “quench” the Spirit’s work in our hearts.

At the same time, however, Jesus’ parable ends on a positive note. The word of God is like a seed that takes root and grows, yielding an amazing harvest of fruit. In the face of Satan’s relentless opposition and even our own unbelief, God ultimately triumphs through his grace.

This week: Luke 8:4-15, The Parable of the Soils. Liturgy is here.

I hope to worship with you.

John