First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Childcare is available for infants through preschool age, downstairs in Rooms 4 and 5.

From the Pastor/Head of Staff

Parables are more than simple stories. They reveal their meanings in layers. Megan McKenna, in her book Parables: Arrows of God, makes the case that parables are often best understood in the light of other stories. Noting that the parables can be categorized into types, she then offers story after story from around the world and across the ages in each category.

This coming Sunday, the Gospel reading will put the Parable of the Seeds before us. Here’s s story of McKenna’s book to till the soil of our hearts and minds. See you Sunday!

Frog was in his garden. Toad came walking by. “What a fine garden you have, Frog,” he said.

“Yes,” said frog, “It is very nice, but it was hard work.”

“I wish I had a garden,” said Toad.

“Here are some flower seeds. Plant them in the ground,” said Frog, “and soon you will have a garden.”

“How soon?” asked Toad.

“Quite soon,” said Frog.

Toad hopped home. He planted his flower seeds. “Now seeds,” said Toad, “start growing.” Toad hopped up and down his garden a few times. The seeds did not start to grow. Toad put his head close to the ground and said loudly, “Now seeds, start growing!”

Toad looked at the ground again. The seeds did not start to grow. Toad put his head very close to the ground and shouted, “Now seeds, start growing!”

Frog come hopping hurriedly up the path. “What is all this noise?” he asked.

“My seeds will not grow,” said Toad.

“You are shouting too much,” said Frog. “These poor seeds are afraid to grow.”

“My seeds are afraid to grow?” asked Toad.

“Of course,” said Frog, “Leave them alone for a few days. Let the sun shine on them, let the rain fall on them. Soon your seeds will start to grow.”

That night, Toad looked out of his window. “Drat!” said Toad. “My seeds have not started to grow. They must be afraid of the dark.”

Toad went out to his garden with some candles. “I will read a story,” said Toad.

“Then they will not be afraid.” Toad read a long story to his seeds.

All the next day Toad sang songs to his seeds. And all the next day Toad read poems to his seeds. Toad looked at the ground. The seeds still did not start to grow. “What shall I do?” cried Toad. “These must be the most frightened seeds in the whole world!”

Then Toad felt very tired, and he fell asleep.

“Toad, Toad, wake up,” said Frog. “Look at your garden!” Toad looked at his garden. Little green plants were coming up out of the ground.

“At last,” shouted Toad, ”my seeds have stopped being afraid to grow!”

“And now you will have a nice garden, too,” said Frog.