Pete Woods and I composed and performed a song for the trienniel meeting of the General Council of the United Church of Canada, which met in Ottawa in August, 2012.
The inspiration for this song was a conversation between Peter and me about the tough social justice issues that were going to be on the floor of the Council meeting. In particular, issues related to the conflict in Israel/Palestine, the legacy of injustice toward our aboriginal brothers and sisters, the threat of climate change, etc. Often, as United Church people, we focus on the injustice around us, and our feeling of responsibility to “do something.” We adopt a theological understanding that the Kingdom/Queendom of God is something in the future that we must labour to bring about.
And yet, Jesus talked about he Kingdom/Queendom of God as something that is “within you,” or “among you,” or “close at hand.” He proclaimed a theology of grace, an understanding that God is alive in this world, in us and through us and among us and in all things; and that God’s loving presence will do its work in spite of us.
Robert Farrar Capon applied a theology of radical grace to the parable of the sower. The sower scatters seeds around, and some falls on rocky soil, some on weedy ground, and other seed falls on good soil. Those who observe what God the sower is doing simply rejoice when the good soil produces seeds a hundred-fold; they harvest it and celebrate. They don’t try to water and till the rocks and shout at the seeds demanding that they grow. They don’t try to pull out the weeds, because they will only pull out the good crop as well. They do nothing … except observe, pay attention and observe that the sower has done something good, and then they rejoice and receive the harvest.
God has sown love everywhere. Abundantly. Generously. There is no place in life, death, or life beyond death where the love of God has not been sown. There is no place where the Kingdon/Queendom of God does not already exist as seed. Our modest task is to observe, to point out the places where that love is flourishing, and invite others to the harvest.
Where is love? Love is near, in every breath you take, in the night and day, when you sleep and when you wake. Love is here, inside each new morn, like scattered seeds, waiting to be born.
My current recording of this song is a bit slower than the original performance, the song is longer and the instrumental break has been omitted. You can here the latest rendition by clicking on the link in the side bar to the right.
View or download the lead sheet: