Daily Reflection
July 28th, 2000
Dan O'Reilly
Registrar's Office
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Jeremiah 3:14-17
Jeremiah 31:10-13
Matthew 13:18-23

Today's scriptures speak of God's love for us, His desire to give us comfort and joy, seeds planted in our hearts and the fruit that they can bear.  In Jeremiah 3, God promises a shepherd to lead us.  In Jeremiah 31, God promises to give us comfort and joy instead of sorrow.  And in Matthew 13, Christ explains the parable of the sower.  Christ promises that the man who hears and believes, the seed that falls on the heart with good soil, will produce a bountiful crop.

Several weeks ago I opened the newspaper to a picture of two smiling, young brothers playing together.  My smile quickly faded as I read the caption and realized the boys had been murdered by their father, who then killed his girl friend and then himself.  I wept.  In anger I read on, looking for a rational explanation for such a horrible and irrational crime.  The young father owed back rent and faced eviction.  He faced a trial date for domestic abuse and possible jail time.  So because of a few hundred dollars and some days in jail, a father murders his children?  I simply do not understand.  What sort of darkness and despair overwhelmed the heart of this young father?  Was there anything that I could have possibly done to stop this from happening?  As an individual?  As a member of the body of Christ?  I prayed for the boys, the girl friend, the father, their loved ones and for guidance for me.

Later, that same evening, I attended the Vacation Bible School program at our church.  A hundred young, grade school faces at the front of the church singing their hearts out.  As I watched the joy in these beautiful, young faces, the faces of the two boys who would never have this opportunity were in the back of my mind.  What could have been done to avert this tragedy?  And it struck me.  This was it!  As an ambassador for Christ, I am the sower.  It is my task and privilege to sow seeds in hearts.  To present the love of God to these children and everyone I meet.  Christ warns in Matthew that the evil one, persecution and the worries of this life will try to destroy the seeds.  The children sang a song called "Joy" by Amy Grant.  A refrain in the song says "I got the hope, hope down in my heart, down in my heart to stay."  If these children understand that they are a unique and beloved child of God and nothing can separate them from that love, then maybe somewhere down the road, when the world threatens to overwhelm them, they'll have that hope inside that can only come from Christ.  My prayer would be for guidance for me as a sower and for the hearts of all of us who receive the seeds from Christ's words.

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