Monday, July 11, 2011

Looking Forward to July 17, 2011 -- 5th Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
Psalm 139 (VU p.861)
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

The sermon title is Not more Weeding!!!

Early Thoughts: It is enough to throw any gardener or farmer into a rage. You look out at your nicely planted land and see weeds filling the rows.  What to do?

In teh parable for this week the landowner gives odd instructions.  Leave them be for now.  LAter, when harvest comes, the weeds will be sorted from the grain.  But for now, to avoid damaging the field (the community?), to avoid uprooting the good plants with the weeds let them be.  It doesn't make sense.  Wouldn't there be a chance that the weeds will choke out the good grain?  AT the very least they will rob moisture and nutrients.

There are a few questions that come to mind:  Why cant' the weeds easily be separated from the good plants?  In a modern context, remembering the definition of a weed being "a pant growing where you don't want it" is there a danger of removing the wrong parts? 

Some have said that Matthew's gospel tells more about how to live as a church community than any other.  And so I have to wonder if the field is in fact the community.  The story does not say that all are acceptable in the field.  It says that the dividing will come later, when the harvest comes, when the plant is shown for what it truly is.  In so many of our communities (religious and secular) we are pretty quick to weed out the "troublemakers" as soon as they are identified as such.  But if we always did that we would weed out the Martin Luther Kings of the world pretty quickly--to our detriment.  If the field is the community and God is the one doing the harvesting, how dare we, as part of the field, claim to know what is a weed and what is not?

OTOH, maybe we are the harvesters.  And the story calls us to use wisdom to know the good from the bad.  THere might be a sermon there too.

Or are we left asking ourselves if we are teh land owner sowing good seed or the enemy sowing weeds?

Lots of possibilities here.  Be we weeds or wheat.  Be we harvesters told to wait a bit before pulling things up.  Or if we have to try and discern what it is that we are sowing--remembering the old adage that we will eventually reap what we sow.

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