Friday, October 28, 2011

The wheat and weeds inside all of us

We've had a number of losses lately in the parish. A few reached the end of long fruitful, but others who died young and much too soon. A couple of good friends from the West Coast also have departed this life recently, and much too soon. Many dear ones are are hurting this morning.

I return again in my prayers to sitting by the Sea of Galilee in the morning calmness, looking to make some sense of all this

In the Daily Office lectionary for today, Jesus makes much the same point he made yesterday (see my post below) but he is coming at it from a different direction, and this time he is talking about loss and that which chokes life from us. Hear the full parable from Matthew 13:24-30:
Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 
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?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’   
The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 
But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 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.’ ”
Think of the weeds as inescapably a part of who we are and all that we have experienced. The weeds are the wounds of life, our own flaws, and the tragedies that have befallen us and hurt us deeply. All of that dwells with us, and it grows and festers. Death is the enemy that has crept into the field while we were asleep and not looking, and leaves behind that which harms us.

And then there is the wheat -- it grows alongside the weeds. The wheat is all that is healthy in us -- our strength, our courage, our generosity, our health, and our inner goodness.

The weeds will bring disease, calamity, and eventually, the death that comes to our bodies. But, Jesus declares, all of that harms and hurts us will be swept away in the end, and all that will remain is the wheat. God will gather all that is good and whole and healthy that is the best part of each of us, and bring all of that into the God's kingdom.

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