He who has ears, let him hear.
Yesterday I posted the photos of Cornerstone Festival Art Pilgrimage Station #9 for us to ponder.
The scriptural basis for the parable being illustrated is found in Matthew 13:18-23, which is the interpretation of the story in verses 3-9.
The artist used Bible pages to form the leaves and blossoms or seeds. Notice that the latter, representing the seeds of the Word of God, are of a different color. Those of us who were there, learned that they were made from the red letter edition, i.e. the literal words of Jesus.
The whole piece depicts quite clearly what happened to the four seeds as they fell in different soil or circumstances.
1. Fell along the path and the evil one came and snatched it away. The art critic, for a reason I cannot remember, did not like the bird. Too scary? Evil looking, for sure, and clearly illustrates the scripture: "the birds came and ate it up."
2. Fell on rocky places in shallow soil; sprang up quickly; scorched by the sun it withered because it had no root. The words HARDSHIP and PERSECUTION explain what caused the Word that was so joyfully received at first to wither and die.
3. Fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants (the fourth panel in the art piece).The descriptive words on the vines strangling the plant are: WORRIES OF LIFE, WORRY, DESIRES FOR OTHER THINGS, THE DECEITFULNESS OF WEALTH.
4. Fell on good soil, is the one "who hears the word and understands it, produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown," beautifully represented by the tree that spreads to all four panels. Such fruitfulness reminds me of my Tuesday post.
The artist included meaningful scripture on the trunk of the tree:
BE IMITATORS OF GOD AS DEARLY LOVED CHILDREN
AND LIVE A LIFE OF LOVE
JUST AS CHRIST LOVED US AND
GAVE HIMSELF FOR US
FOR YOU WERE ONCE DARKNESS
NOW YOU ARE LIGHT
And at the bottom nearer the seed: LET YOUR ROOTS GO DOWN DEEP INTO HIS LOVE.
On the other side of the door-panels, Jesus' words--the strong admonition and title for the entire piece:
HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR.
The words from Isaiah that the artist used to explain the first scenario--EVER HEARING AND NOT UNDERSTANDING. EVER SEEING AND NOT PERCEIVING--were Jesus' answer to the disciples question: "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" And he goes on to explain that their hearts are calloused, they cannot hear nor see. "But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."
May we be among the blessed and fruitful!