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Weeds Ain’t Necessarily Weeds

Weeds Ain’t Necessarily Weeds

This week’s readings may appear at first glance to be judgmental. But if we read more closely we find the common theme is a celebration of the God who is moving the universe according to his purpose where good will eventually triumph over evil. It’s easy to become impatient or disheartened with the ways of the world, and the ways of God. These readings reveal a God of patience who strengthens us with hope and who invites us to be inclusive in our relationships with others – suspending judgement on the lifestyles and behaviours of others, instead trusting that judgement belongs to the Lord – not to us.

Matthew records Jesus’ parable of the good crop growing together with weeds. This parable has often been interpreted as ‘us’ Christians as the good guys and the weeds are everyone else, sharing this earthly life together. When God’s final harvest comes at the end of the age the ‘good’ people will go to heaven and the others will burn. 

Let’s consider the parable from another perspective: where we acknowledge the harsh reality that good crops and weeds can be found in each of us – no exceptions. Everyone has weeds of some kind. Life’s struggle is not so much with some evil enemy lurking ‘out there’ somewhere, but with the enemy within.

Paul says that he does not understand his own actions, but does the evil he does not want [Rom 7:15-21], causing us, with all of creation, to groan inwardly in our labour pains [Rom 8:22-23].

Yet Paul assures us that God makes all things work for good [Rom 8:28], including our weeds! The burning of the weeds is not only their destruction but also their transformation into potash which then becomes fertiliser for new life. The weeds growing within us together with the good crop are what give us character and individuality. We can rejoice in our diversity, weeds and all, for such is the kingdom of heaven.  

Adapted from http://preachingtip.com/archives-year-a/pentecost-year-a/proper-11-year-a/ 

 

Romans  8: 12-25

12So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

 

Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-40      Jesus Teaches Another Parable

24Jesus 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. 30Let 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.’” 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.