Just Joe

"Just Joe" is Pastor Joe Agne's weekly column, published in regular email communications to members and friends of Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church. To be added to the church's email list,

contact Pamela Gubkin at pgubkin@cedaredgecumc.com

Indiscriminate — Even Wasteful — Seed Planting

June 7, 2020


In Matthew 13: 1-9, Jesus climbs into a boat, then stays close to the shore as people gather hoping he’ll tell a story. He does.

He could tell the story of a farmer who wants to make as much profit as possible, a farmer consumed by fears of scarcity. This farmer’s plan includes warnings:


  • Don’t plant on the hardened path because the birds will eat the seeds.

  • Avoid rocky soil as the roots won’t go deep, so the plants will die.

  • Stay away from the thorns. They will strangle the plants as they come up.

  • Plant only where there is good soil, and you will have a bumper crop.


Jesus doesn’t tell this story. Instead he tells the story of an “abundant” farmer who has a bag full of seeds. This farmer is not afraid of scarcity. He believes he has abundant resources. He has no plan nor warnings about where to plant. He flings seed everywhere. He’s filled with joy as he reaches into his bag and pitches seed in all directions. Some would say he is wasteful.

I describe my soul and the soul of the church, our nation and our world as soil that can be but is not always good soil. There are plenty of hard-baked paths, thorns and rocks. I am grateful for the abundant farmer who indiscriminately tosses seed everywhere. It gives my whole being a chance to grow, and it gives me responsibility to prune thorns; to move rocks around; to let birds eat the seeds on the road; and to create more good soil that will produce crops thirty times, sixty times, a hundred times greater than what I sow.

That is good news, and I am...



Community United Methodist Church

Cedaredge, Colorado