Scripture: Matt 13: 24-30
Key verses: (24-30) 24 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 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?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 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.’”
Reflection: I imagine there were some people in the early church that wanted to root out the bad seed, but Jesus’ parable challenges their weeding. The parable makes clear that any attempt to pull out the weeds will only do more damage to the wheat. I don’t think the church is much different today; frustrated with anyone who does not worship the “right” way, annoyed when someone doesn’t have the “right” interpretation of Scripture and even throwing shade on someone who doesn’t volunteer, serve or do mission the “right” way. . . I am not talking about sides here. I think this speaks to our deep desire to be perfect and weed out any imperfection. We easily pass judgement on people who make mistakes. This does serious damage to the body of Christ. We are the church, an inseparable mixture of good and bad, wheat and weeds together.
Jesus makes clear that we simply cannot be certain who is “in” or who is “out”. We need to stop waiting for God to come and take out all the bad things, making everything good and pure. Do we really want perfection for ourselves, the church or even the world? In the end, God will take what is pleasing. I think that is our most authentic self and an honest church seeking to be faithful in this broken world.
Prayer: Continue to transform us by your love, God. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].