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  • Ian Gulland

What kind of soil are you?! (May 2022)


“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil ... There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” Charles Kellogg
Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.Charles Spurgeon

Over the past month I have attempted to grow veg in the garden. It didn’t take long before my problems started. I dug a few inches down and I hit stones… lots of them. My five-minute planting job became a serious activity of stone removal!


As Kellogg’s quote suggests, we are connected to the soil in many ways; whether it is through the food we eat or the environment we live in. Our community and local economy thrive when the soil produces crops, attractive flowers and feeds animals… as we will see in the Royal Cornwall Show soon!


In Jesus’ well-known parable of the four soils, he is speaking to people whose lives completely depend on the soil. They knew instinctively what he was saying. A farmer sows seed across a field, and it lands on four types of ground: a path, rocky ground, weeds, and good soil. It was the same seed but there were four different outcomes. When Jesus was asked by his followers what it all meant he replied:


“When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface… this is the seed the farmer scatters on the road. The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it. The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.” (Matt 13.18-23)


No doubt we all wish to be good soil in all our endeavours! We want to be open to new things. As I plant my seedlings I am having to dig deep, turn over the soil, remove the hardness and weeds, introduce healthy nutrients, and make sure the roots go down deep.


In the church we wish to cultivate good open soil and generously share the ‘good seed’ that brings hope, joy, wholeness and develop deeper roots of faith in God. Jesus’ invitation to his own followers was- ‘will you be good soil and let the seed go deep and grow?’ Spurgeon’s challenge is to dig into the soil of our lives and find out what kind of soil we are.


If you want to find out more about the ‘good seed’ come along and find out!


Revd Ian

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