April 4, 2021
Alleluia. Christ is Risen!The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
by Scott Stoner
Let anyone with ears listen!—Matthew 13:9
The sounds of spring in the Northern Hemisphere are unmistak-able. Birds singing, rain showers, the wind in the trees, and the sound of gurgling creeks, all announce the resurgence of life all around us.
The sounds of Easter are unmistakable too. Some of my favorite sounds of Easter include trumpets, bells, organ music, choir descants, children shrieking as they hunt for eggs, and loud acclamations that Christ is risen.
All around us, God is speaking to us of resurrection. The question, one that we have been reflecting on in our journey through Lent this year is, “Are we listening?” We have learned that one of the greatest gifts that we can give to one another is the gift of listening. We have learned that much of what passes for listening is not authentic listening, but instead superficial, almost a pretend kind of hearing, and that deep, authentic listening requires intentionality.
Today we are reminded of the gift of resurrection that God has promised us. The gift that we can give back to God is to truly listen to the story of Jesus’ resurrection with the ears of our hearts.
Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, while not usually associated with the cele-bration of Easter, is a profound description of what happens when we are open to listening to God. With the guidance of our guest writers, this Lent has been devoted to removing the rocks and thorns in our hearts, souls, and minds that make it hard for us to truly listen to God and to one another. I invite you now to listen to this parable as a parable for what can happen when we genuinely listen to the good news of Easter in our lives.
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!
My hope and prayer for all of us today is that through listening to the story of Easter anew, God will bring forth a harvest of resurrection in our lives and in the lives of those whom God calls us to love and serve.