Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 Jesus put before the crowd another parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, `Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?' He answered, `An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he replied, `No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!"

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who has ever had a garden or even a few pots with tomato plants knows that you just cannot let weeds grow up along with your vegetables. I won’t bore you with the details of my back breaking work to cultivate a garden in a place where the ground was clay but I will tell you this, when the first thing that leaped out of my spinach bed was a 3 foot tumble weed I pulled on my gardeners gloves and ripped out the nasty trespasser. So what was Jesus thinking when he told the slaves to let the weeds and wheat grow together?

    As Jesus explained to the disciples, he really wasn’t talking about a vegetable garden, he was talking about God’s kingdom on earth. Much to the dissatisfaction of the people who were waiting for the Messiah to come and wage war against their oppressors (their weeds) Jesus refused to put on his gardener’s gloves and destroy the ill-willed, the evil-doers, the sinners or the ones who tested and tried to entrap him. On the contrary, Jesus forgave their sins, cast out their demons, healed them, ate with them, preached to them telling stories about a different way to related. When Jesus preached to the whole crowd he had to know that he was preaching to the wheat as well as to the weeds. Nonetheless, patiently and persistently he preached to the weeds because in the weeds he saw the seeds of God’s kingdom.

    Unlike Jesus, I spin my wheels wondering where the weeds came from and who is to blame for them getting into my garden. I am quick to judge (did the nursery that sold me the seeds let weeds get into the little paper packet?) and even quicker to rip the weeds out. I think Jesus might be telling me my time could be better spent if only I would look through his eyes to see the seeds in the midst of the weeds which actually is pretty good news because frankly some of the time I am not sure if I am a sheaf of wheat or a shock of weeds.

    And there we have it. I think my sin might be seeing and treating my self and other people as weeds. My sin is to judge rather than to love my self and my neighbor. Merciful God look with favor on me, your weed, and give me eyes like yours to see the seeds of goodness hidden in the heart of my own weedy self and the weediness of others. Through Christ I pray. Amen