April's Theme — Growing Faith
When you think of gardening, what pops into your mind? Dirt? Nurseries? Seed catalogs? Flowers? Fruits? Tools? Aching backs or sore knees? Weeding? Watering? Worms? Muddy boots? Green thumbs? Black thumbs? Perhaps, many of these thoughts. The Master Gardener himself had his own views on gardening:
Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
— Matthew 13:3-8 (kjv)
As Jesus told His disciples, this parable is rife with symbolism for each of us who has ears to hear and the gist of it is this: growing faith, and doing so in the right environment, is incredibly important. He considered this, and other parables, a mystery of the kingdom of heaven. Upon the disciples questioning him, he taught:
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
— Matthew 13:18-23 (KJV)
This month we invite you to learn more about the principle of faith—specifically, how it grows and what you can do to foster that growth in your spiritual "gardening". Do you need to switch up your tools? Have some weeding to do? Do you feel like you have a "black thumb" in certain areas of your faith? Can you see the scriptures as a spiritual seed catalog for your soul?
I think C.S. Lewis said it best:
This month's content has been prayed over by our teams and is shared with the hope that you will be able to grow your faith and deepen your connection to God. Above all, we hope you can approach this month in "a new way, a less worried way." Let's remember that Christ overcame death and sin for each of us, so no matter where we find our seeds sown—on the wayside or in good ground, in stony places or among thorns—we can lay claim on empowering grace through the Son of God by faith and truly hand ourselves over to Him, the Master Gardener.
Brooke is the Digital Director for The Small Seed. She lives in Ventura, California, with her husband Brandon, who serves in the US Navy, and their daughter. She studied at Oregon State, where she received a BFA in graphic design, and then went on to serve a mission in Paris, France. Brooke has spent the majority of her life after college working in advertising or publishing until she moved over to social media content creation with Hello Society. You can connect with her on Instagram at @mminimalist.