Mark 4:26-27 And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.

There is a great advantage in living in Iowa, because most people understand how things grow - this is not true everywhere. For example, a story is often told about city people going for a drive in the country - and they see cows lying in a field, and the children ask the question - is that how cows grow, like mushrooms, starting like little mushrooms, and then growing larger until they have legs and can walk on their own? No cows don't grow that way, can't you see - they aren't planted in rows. At this, and noticing a great number of cars, lined up in rows on a hillside - they reply, then is that how cars grow? There is a lot to this world, we will never understand - you can plant a rock, and it will not grow. You can plant nuts and bolts, and they won't grow either. Yet when you plant a seed, it does grow - because God made it that way.

Its important for us to remember this, because this time of year, there are many who would point to the founding fathers, and say that is why there is an America today - they did something that made it grow into what it is. And while that is certainly true - it misses the greatest miracle, as well as the most important thing - for it is missing God. For it is good for us to remember that we came to America so that we might live our faith, at least that's why many of the Lutherans came to this land, along with countless others.

And as we came, we asked our friends and neighbors, do you know about Jesus? Do you know what while we were all sinners, he suffered and died to redeem us, and forgive us, and give us life, and peace? Seeds were planted, and they grew into faith, and that faith continued to reach out across the land, and churches spring up where the people gathered. And the churches gathered to give thanks to God, who had sent his Son to be our Savior - and to give thanks to God that he makes the seed to grow.

God makes things grow, and we still don't know why they grow. God makes things grow, and seeds grow because thatís the way God made them. God's word is the seed that makes faith grow, the Holy Spirit takes that word and plants it in men's hearts. And that seed grows into a faith that changes us, and we are born again, born as the children of God.

The children of God see people lost in the guilt and shame of sin, and plant seeds of faith, we tell them about Jesus - and that is a good thing - for we know God doesn't want them to perish, because Jesus died for all - but the better thing, and the thing we must not loose sight of, is the God who gives the seed, and the God who makes the good seed grow.

God makes seed grow, and often we forget his gracious love. I suppose its not hard to understand, for seeds grow and bear fruit - and then comes the harvest, and at harvest we are often too busy with the harvest to remember God who gives the good seed, and who made it grow. It is good for us to remember the God who has loved us, who has given us the good seed, who has given us our savior, and who has taken away all our sins. Funny that such a little thing, like a seed, can do so much, by the grace of God.