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Seed that sprouted but had no roots

October 12, 2023

Daily Scripture

Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21; Luke 8:13, Revelation 2:2-4

Matthew 13
5 Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots.

 20 As for the seed that was spread on rocky ground, this refers to people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. 21 Because they have no roots, they last for only a little while. When they experience distress or abuse because of the word, they immediately fall away.

Luke 8
13 The seed on the rock are those who receive the word joyfully when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while but fall away when they are tempted.

Revelation 2
[To the church at Ephesus]: 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance. I also know that you don’t put up with those who are evil. You have tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 You have shown endurance and put up with a lot for my name’s sake, and you haven’t gotten tired. 4 But I have this against you: you have let go of the love you had at first.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Have you ever said, “Some people can be so shallow?” That’s the obvious usage of Jesus’ image of seed that fell on rocky ground with shallow soil. It happens: a person comes to the church, the music and warm fellowship dazzle them, they sit in the front row for every service for several weeks or months, and then disappear (or even complain about a minor glitch like “my phone message wasn’t answered right away”). But sometimes the issues that make “first love” disappear run deeper.

  • Scholar William Barclay knew the cases that fit this image. “There is the hearer with the mind like the shallow ground…. Some people are at the mercy of every new craze. They take a thing up quickly and just as quickly drop it.” * Book store employees or those who schedule Discipleship classes know the phone calls asking for “the most popular new book,” with no real interest in depth or lasting impact. How can you see to it that Jesus is more than the latest craze for you?
  • The church at Ephesus had “tested those who say they are apostles but are not, and you have found them to be liars.” Barclay suggested, “It may well be that heresy-hunting had killed love, and orthodoxy had been achieved at the price of fellowship. When that happens, orthodoxy has cost too much. All the orthodoxy in the world will never take the place of love.” ** How can you stand for truth, yet not let “heresy-hunting” replace the love of the Christian community you belong to?

Lord Jesus, always keep my heart warm with the love I receive from you and feel for you in return. Keep that love the living center of all that I believe and value. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

People who travel love to talk about their travel. Trust me, I’m one of them. Travel within the United States is great. I’ve had the privilege of seeing 48 states (I’m coming for you, Idaho and Delaware!), but there’s nothing like getting to journey to another country. I love soaking up a different culture. I want to see the highlights, but I also want to eat authentically, talk to locals, and learn a bit of the language. I’d stay in the modest home of someone I know over a 5-star hotel any day.

A while back I was exchanging travel adventures with a gal. She started naming off all the countries she’d been to. The list was quite impressive! Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, Iceland, England… the list went on and on. I told her that my family had a great time in England in 2019. I began rattling off what we loved and asking questions, “Did you see Buckingham Palace? Did you go to the Cotswolds? Were you able to get to Oxford?” She responded, “Well, I’ve been to the Heathrow airport on my way to another country.” The airport?!!! That’s not going to England! I suppose you’re technically in the country, but really?! You don’t get to count a country if visiting terminal F is your highlight.

Think about it. I live in the KC metro, and I can’t imagine someone saying they’ve been to Kansas City if they’ve only been to the airport. You have to see at least some of the highlights like the Plaza or Crown Center or 18th & Vine or Arrowhead Stadium. And unless you’re vegetarian, you don’t get to say you’ve been to Kansas City if you’ve not tried our barbeque. That’s just a fact.

This makes me think about our journey as Christians. Our faith is expansive and rich. We’re called to live into the breadth of our faith by reading Scripture, sharing in fellowship, worshiping together, bringing justice and hope, and so much more. Yet some of us are just visiting the airport, so to speak. We think we’ve arrived when we’re just here for a layover. It’s a “technical” visit on the journey, but we haven’t really experienced the true kingdom. It’s not enough to merely call ourselves a Christian. We must also dive deep into our faith, exploring the far depths. That’s where we find the greatest sense of joy and are drawn ever closer to our Savior.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew—Volume 2 Chapters 11–28 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 60.
** William Barclay, The Revelation of John—Volume 1 Chapters 1–5 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 64.