“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!’” (Matthew 13:3-9) The parable of the sower is rather unique in that Jesus explains it allegorically. Each of the soils represents a different response to the Gospel. What Jesus doesn’t explain is who exactly is the sower. Most of us preachers assume that we are the sowers in the pulpit (or between pulpit and lectern, wherever you prefer standing!) distributing great words of love and wisdom. And, I suppose, to some degree that is true. But what goes unexplained is the rather wasteful indulgence of this sower. So enthusiastic is the unidentified one to spread the seed that this precious commodity is being thrown every-which-way! Among rocks, on hard soil, into the briar patch; are you kidding me? Who would do a thing like that? Who would waste their time on the hard places? Who would give up such a precious thing, the very seeds of life, in such unlikely places? Is it becoming clearer? What if God really does love the world so much, that he throws himself away with such prodigal extravagance? And to what hard places might such a God call those like you and me who have responded and brought forth fruit by his grace? Perhaps it is time to let the Gospel loose, knowing that the Sower, the great God of the Universe, is ready willing and able to give the growth!