July 19th, 2020
My sermon this week, is entitled “The Weed Pulling Impulse”. It is based on the Gospel of Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. This gospel takes us into the middle of the Jesus’ Farmer Parables, a set of three parables focused on agriculture. Sowing, growing, and reaping are the overall themes here.
In this parable, a farmer sows grain, and while everyone is sleeping, the enemy sneaks in and sows weeds. When the plants matured, it became obvious that the wheat was mixed with weeds. But, as the parable progresses, we learn that it is not our job to separate weeds from wheat. Instead that job is left to the angels. Instead, it is our job to water and nourish both weeds and wheat, so that both are fed, and both grow. It is not our job to judge between the two.
People have the ability to change and grow in the fertile soil. People we thought were weeds can be seen as having value and being useful for the kingdom of God – if we aren’t so quick to judge. God created all plants, all people, and declared them very good. It is not our job to segregate, and judge, who is wheat and who are weeds, but it is our job to nourish both, and to allow both to grow to fruition and look for the good in all.
Rather than handing us a justification for declaring who is wheat and who is weed, this parable is a cautionary tale, waring us to beware of the weed pulling impulse, the moral need to improve the field based on our own limited judgment. That is why the farmer prevents us hired hands from yanking out the weeds. He knows our perspective is skewed, and our judgments are often faulty.
All plants have value, weeds and wheat. We just need to be willing to find it. All people have value. We just need to be willing to find it. May we resist the temptation to rush to judgement knowing that God can burn away the weeds in each of us – and harvest what is good in all of us. Let us leave the weeding to the angels, and get on with the ministry Jesus has given us, which is proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
Have a grand week filled with laughter, surprises, lots of family time, and rest. Remember that as we pray for one another every morning at 10:30, God grants us wisdom, love and peace to hold each other in infinite care.
Keep well and safe, and have a blessed week.