In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
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4 As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it.
19 Whenever people hear the word about the kingdom and don’t understand it, the evil one comes and carries off what was planted in their hearts. This is the seed that was sown on the path.
11 The Beroean Jews were more honorable than those in Thessalonica. This was evident in the great eagerness with which they accepted the word and examined the scriptures each day to see whether Paul and Silas’ teaching was true.
People walked in the same places. That formed the path, where the soil was packed and unreceptive to seed. Scholar William Barclay wrote, “There are people into whose minds the word has no more chance of gaining entry than the seed has of settling into the ground that has been beaten hard by many feet.” * The people the apostle Paul preached to in Beroea provided a happy contrast, eagerly accepting the word and searching the scriptures each day to confirm the truth.
Lord Jesus, keep me open and receptive. Help me to believe what you’ve taught me, but never in a way that makes me rigid and closed minded. Amen.
I find myself choosing a path most traveled confidently and often, as opposed to the well-known Robert Frost quote: “choose the path less traveled by.” Why? Well, many reasons. It’s typically faster. I typically have friends going in the same direction. Maybe it’s a path I’ve walked before, so I know the way without a map and don’t have to stop to ask for directions. I am a creature of habit. Even on our morning walks, my husband will go to turn left at the stop sign when I always turn right, and it’s jarring. Why would we go left? I like the walking route I take. I can anticipate the hills and I know how to avoid the sun being in my eyes for too long. I always make it home in the same amount of time. It’s comfortable and I can even be on autopilot when walking.
Jesus sure does love to challenge me with these scriptures. I wonder if you find yourself in my shoes today, walking the same path over and over again. How might we be challenged to find a path with soil that hasn’t been flattened, where we run the risk of not experiencing new growth? I am also wondering how this mentality could impact my interaction with Scripture. I tend to lean on the same verses, books, studies and stories when I’m looking for God’s word to breathe life in me.
Today’s Scripture reminds me how important it is to be open to what God wants me to experience. When I am more open to taking an unexpected route, I turn off my autopilot and can be in the present moment in a new way. Try to take a new path today! Maybe it’s literally turning right instead of left (even if it adds 5 minutes to your walk) or incorporating a different spiritual practice into your routine. I am praying for God’s peace to surround you today.
* William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew—Volume 2 Chapters 11–28 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 60.
** Wright, N. T., Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 166). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
*** Found at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/notes.ii.i.html?highlight=set,apart,a,little,time#highlight