Gathering and Sowing

In the opening lines of the most familiar of all of Mrs. Eddy's precious hymns she asks the holy Shepherd for divine guidance, "How to gather, how to sow, how to feed Thy sheep" (Poems, p. 14). Our Leader well knew that gathering precedes sowing: that the harvest must be garnered if one is to possess the golden grain which is to be sowed again to insure another and larger gathering-in. In the very order of the words is an important lesson. How often do mortals undertake to sow before they are sufficiently supplied with true seed, and in consequence neither the sowing nor the reaping is blessed!

What is the gathering that must precede righteous sowing? The answer to this is also found in the words of our Leader, who draws a sharp distinction between the good seed and the bad. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 535) she writes, "The seed of Truth and the seed of error, of belief and of understanding,—yea, the seed of Spirit and the seed of matter,—are the wheat and tares which time will separate, the one to be burned, the other to be garnered into heavenly places." There can be no doubt as to the significance of these words. The seed of Truth, of Spirit, can be naught else than the spiritual idea, the Christ, the truth about God, man, and creation. Then the ingathering in which we are bound to engage is the laying hold of spiritual Truth, divine ideas, the seed which, sown in good soil, will bring forth much fruit, some even an hundredfold.

The Holy Bible
May 14, 1927

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