Day  28


A cool breeze floats across the water, the sound of gentle waves lap the shore, a symphony of sounds and sights whispering, hinting, heralding a Kingdom coming: Creation partnering with God in revealing who He is…

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake…” Matthew 13:1

When a Rabbi sits he sits to show he is about to speak, about to teach, about to invite his listeners on a wrestling journey towards truth and understanding. Something. 

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.” Matthew 13:1-2


These large crowds, made up of small people, lost people. People searching for something. They stood there on the shore, the shore of their longing for change and hope, the shore of all their hungering questions and cravings for more, more of something they couldn’t quite describe, that nameless something beating deep within every human heart. Something drawing them here to this shore, to this man, to this moment in time.

Where is God? What is He doing? When will this Messiah appear? Who am I? What am I here for? What is this all about? What can be trusted? What is truth? We human beings, we walk with questions, live confusion and wear our wonderings like oversized shoes, tripping over ourselves to work out who we are and what it’s all about.

And then this Jewish Rabbi comes, He comes into this sea of unanswered questions, His voice echoing through time, through two millennia of the thick confusing fog of human history. He sits down in the Galilean countryside, on the hillsides and by the water’s edge and He speaks words into the air like dawning light before the sun, words that draw on realities all around, using them to reveal the one true reality of a Kingdom on the move. 

He points out the birds, the seeds, the trees, He fills the ordinary things (things unseen, things under foot, things passed by) with meaning, depth and message, and hearts begin to awaken to the possibility that life may have some rhyme or reason after all. Something. 

“Then he told them many things in parables, saying…”  Matthew 13:3


Those standing there on the shore with a salty breeze on their cheeks and sand sifting through their sandals, they had heard all this before, but not like this. These stories were familiar, both in the images they drew and the way they drew on images. Israel had a long history of poets, prophets and storytellers all painting pictures, drawing on creation, writing songs, telling the stories of their great long wrestling partnership with God.

But it had been a long time since words like this were breathed into the Galilean air, new words, fresh from the heart of God. There had been silence from the heavens for over four hundred years until a voice rang out in the wilderness pointing to this man. Could this Rabbi be the one? Raw from the repeated blows of oppression, they had been waiting for a Messiah, longing for a prophet, waiting for redemption. They had questions. They wanted answers. They were hungry, not for food that lines bellies, but for food that revives souls. His words were bread to them before He even opened His mouth to speak.

But these words He wove, while tasting familiar on their lips, had an aftertaste that was strange. His stories though recognisable, were also foreign, though patterned on the past, they were also unexpected. The words were familiar, but the tune, the melody was new: New and old all in one breath. Old with with the wisdom of age. New with the newness of new life.

Like seeds.


“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.” Matthew 13:3

Have you ever held a seed in your hand and marvelled that you are holding life and death in your palm all at once, simultaneously the death of a plant and the source of its brand new life? Old and new bound in one being, sorrow and hope, the past and the future, life’s beginning intimately entwined with its own dying breath?

But a seed that remains only a seed remains alone (John 12:24 ). A seed without earth will never bud and flourish. A seed without soil will never split with life. And the reverse is also true; soil without the life the seed sows is empty. Vacuous. 

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground…” Genesis 2:7

God, His hands got grit-under-fingernails-dirty when He shaped us into being. We are in the end, all men and women of the soil, created from the dirt and dust beneath our feet; soil forged millions of years ago in the bellies of stars gathered together by hands of love and measured, mounded, moulded into us.

We are the soil. 


We are soil, we are earth, we are minerals, we are mud. But we are also more, so much more.

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

We are vessels made of clay carrying something more. Carrying the breath of God within us, His image bearing-blessing-breath of life. Like a seed planted deep in the earth of us, YHWH set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) because He has set Himself there: His image, His likeness, His life. His Life like a breath of oxygenating air.

His life like a seed sown into in soil by a farmer.

“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.”  Matthew 13:3

We are vessels made of clay carrying something more. But since the breaking of all things in that garden long ago, since the soil first soaked up the blood of humankind’s inhumanity to one another, the Breath of life within us has had to strive against the ambivalence of our inner dark. The life within us struggles and then fails; flailing, failing, falling into emptiness. God walks in the gardens of our lives and we are deaf and dumb to His voice. Empty.  

We may (in distance from Him) live our questions, but God always answers with His: Where are you?

“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.” Matthew 13:4

God whispers our names, calling to us “Where are you?”, but then His words are snatched away before they take root in our heart.