Sunday, July 20, 2008

Today's text was "wheat and tares" as the old story goes. I heard a good sermon on parables as puzzles and Jesus as the 'box lid' and I read several good commentaries on the text this week. I've been thinking about planting and wondering just how much of growth is God's responsibility. We work so hard to maximize our potential and our possibilities, trying to do everything we can to enhance our growth. I wonder if all growth isn't the responsibility of God; the One who sends rain on the just and unjust.

John Ballenger of Baltimore (Woodbrook Baptist Church) writes in Clergy Journal the following good point:
The parable offers the opposite advice from the adventure movie line, "Kill them all, let God sort them out." Jesus in effect says, "Care for them all, let God sort them out." In forbidding the servants to root out the weeds, the householder, in effect, commands that the weeds receive the same care as the wheat until the day of harvest.
In that case the farmers are responsible for tending and God is responsible for the final result. I am struck by the willingness to let the good wheat and the weeds share the precious water and nutrients of the soil. I guess if we are thinking we're wheat, we're not so special after all, but as in so many parables, if we are the weeds, we have much for which to be grateful.

My husband always says, "a weed is just a plant or even flower, growing in the wrong place."
Looking at responsibility, and accepting that God has the ultimate responsibility, perhaps ours is to recognize the flower mistaken as a 'weed' and share this space with a different crop. Then when all is said and done, ultimately that is, God will do any necessary sorting.

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