Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogging Toward Sunday

Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43

24He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And 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?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them.

36Then 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.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

Intro to Parable
  • second of 7 in this series
  • again about seed and soil;
  • good seed and bad.
What is the parable telling us? That the good will prosper with the bad; that we exist in this world side by side -- and that God wants it this way. That the rain falls on both the good and the evil. This is indeed evil in this world -- The kids and I watched "Hotel Rwanda" this week -- there are indeed evil people in this world.

Harder thought: Are there weeds or evil people in the church? Again is a hard answer: Yes.

Are there weeds in each of our own lives? Yes.

The American search for the perfect lawn -- When I was working at Fernbank, one of the meteorologists with whom I shared an office had a problem -- he had put sod in part of his lawn, but had seeded the other half. After a year or so, Bill had half a yard of grass and half a yard of weeds. He tried to go around and pull them up one at a time; he tried paying the kids ten cents a weed to pull them up, but everything he did actually made the problem worse. He scraped up the weeds, retilled the soil, reseeded -- same result. He nuked it with chemicals and then had big brown spots in the lawn to go along with sickly grass. He finally asked one of our horticulturists what to do -- and Walter told him to stop trying to kill the weeds, but to strengthen the grass and eventually the weeds would be shoved aside -- choked out.

Question: What are we going to concentrate on? Are we going to kill weeds or grow strong grass?

Discussion of different methods of weed control:
Looking for a quick fix with chemicals
Manually pulling them up -- futile -- they grow faster than you can pull them up and you damage the roots of the good plants.
ending with the news story in previous post about a man torching his neighbor's garden.

Are we going to kill weeds or grow strong grass?

How do we grow strong grass? To quote Bishop Job:
1. Do No Harm,
2. Do Good, and
3. Stay in Love with God.

What do these mean? Traditional wording is this:
“First, By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind…”
“Second, By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all me…”
“Thirdly, By attending upon all the ordinances of God…”

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