Thank you all for helping to create an amazing Pride Sunday last week! Deep gratitude to Mark, Sonya, Adam and Louis for sharing their video reflections in a way that enriched us all. The flowers were beautiful, the music was uplifting, the technology was amazing and the connections via chat were lovely!
Last Sunday’s scripture passage was about good seed being scattered in all kinds of different environments. This week we’ll spend time with the Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds, an account where bad seed is intentionally sown alongside the good. The “weeds” look suspiciously like the “wheat” in their early days and the workers in the field are tempted to try to identify the weeds and pull them out.
Our passage invites us into a conversation about the issue of good and evil. In his book People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck defines evil as “that which kills, either in body or spirit.” And while the topic may be unsettling, it’s one that people of faith wrestle with as we recognize forces within, between and around us that diminish life and well-being. As people who seek to align ourselves with love on individual, community and systemic levels, what do we do about the trouble with weeds?
I hope you’ll ponder this with me. I’m looking forward to worshiping together on Sunday as we ground ourselves in God’s love and grace, open ourselves to the movement of the Spirit and celebrate our connections as members of the Body of Christ who support one another in heart, mind and spirit.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (CEB)
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
“The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’
“‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered.
“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’
“But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.”’”
Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
Jesus replied, “The one who plants the good seed is the Human One. The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kingdom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. The Human One will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. He will throw them into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Those who have ears should hear.”
Consider these questions:
- How have you thought about/struggled with the question of good and evil?
- How do you see/talk about evil outside the church? Inside the church?
- What situations/scenarios tempt you to take matters into your own hands and try to “pull out the weeds?”
- How do you keep the faith/keep perspective in a world that reflects profound goodness and real evil?