Recently I read about a treasure of old Roman coins that were found buried inside a coffin. They had been there for nearly two-thousand years. We usually think of things we bury as dead things, like our pet dog Rover we buried in the front yard after loving him for almost sixteen years. But dead things are not the only things we bury.
We can bury treasure. We bury our talents. We bury our guilt and hurt real deep. People have been known to say thinks like, “I am completely buried under with work.” But there is something else we bury, something we must bury to bring it to life – a seed. Unlike everything else we bury, a seed does not stay buried. It grows. In Mark’s Gospel, 4:26-27, we are told that the growth of a seed is a mystery to us. We neither know how it grows, nor do we have an active role in making it grow. All we can do is scatter the seeds. The rest is left up to God.
It is astounding hearing the testimonies of people who heard the seed of the Gospel and were born again. Maybe a Bible tract, a word from a friend, an old family Bible, a drama at church, a song on the radio, a sermon… all seeds of the Gospel. Those seeds somehow took root and they grew. They grew step by step and produced a great harvest. Only God knows how. People like the Apostle Paul, whose heart was hard, who called himself the chief of all sinners, who was the least likely person to get saved; yet, there at the stoning of Stephen, the seed was sown. And look what became of him. Millions of stories like that abound in Christianity.
I have learned some hard lessons during my ministry. One lesson is that though I cannot save anyone, I can sow the seed. I cannot cause it to grow, but I can certainly sow the seed – everyday – everywhere I go . Now, if I keep the seeds in a little jar and pour them out once in a while to look at them, I may find them beautiful sitting up there on the shelf (like the big family Bible) but they will not grow. They will never be more than just seeds until I scatter them. They must be buried in order to grow. They must be buried in order to bear fruit and produce a harvest.
By the way, those coins found buried in the coffin for almost 2000 years, did not grow. They did not increase or reproduce, despite being buried for so long. But the seeds of the Gospel when sown… they grow. I don’t know how, but they do. Some grow in a short time. Some take years. But they do grow. God gives the increase. So, let’s scatter the seeds of the Gospel everywhere we go. One thing is for sure, though, if we don’t scatter the seeds, it is certain they cannot grow. Get out that seed bag and start scattering.