Good Soil for Going Together

A couple weeks ago, I (Mark) called Kristin to see something I was watching from one of our fourth floor apartment windows. When Kristin walked up to the window and looked out, she simply responded, “Wow.”

IMG_4019This picture captures a community of workers co-laboring to prepare the soil. Unlike the isolated workers pictured below who walk through the field scattering seeds, the long and arduous task of soil preparation requires a community.

Jesus told a story which held the key for understanding all of His stories (Matthew 13:1-23). Though often called the “Parable of the Sower,” this story actually focuses on the differing qualities of soil. This “Parable of the Soils” examines the hearts of those who hear God’s word about His kingdom. Only good soil can receive the word and bear fruit that remains. In John’s gospel, Jesus explains to His disciples, “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16).IMG_4016

It is already clear to us that this season of languaculture acquisition (language and culture training and assimilation) requires the cultivation of our “soil” through co-laboring with our kingdom community, including those sending us and those receiving us. Simply put, our family’s going is one expression of our collective “going” with God in His mission. Though this cultivation of our hearts may be long and arduous as depicted with the workers in the image above, the hope of yielding fruit for others and God’s glory (John 15:8) compels us forward. As we all labor daily in the fields where He sends us, please know that we can sense in this field the power of togetherness in His Spirit. Thank you for “being” and “doing” with us as we all follow Jesus together. Together in His mission, may our hearts be prepared for going and bearing fruit that lasts…even into new heavens and a new earth!

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