24-39, 36-43; the parable of the weeds scattered among good seed
We are continuing
to hear Jesus’ parables through this Pentecost season. Last week, Jesus
talked about the Sower, God is a Sower and We are the good soil of God who
respond to the matters of God’s kingdom. We acknowledge that some seeds
will be lost for whatever reason, but promise a good harvest from the seeds
that fall on good soil. The main learning for us, was the promise of the
harvest that the kingdom will provide.
This week, Jesus is telling us what
the Kingdom is like through another story of seeds which are scattered among
weeds. Jesus uses the same agricultural metaphors, so that his disciples will
understand the beauty, and the mystery of God, especially, when his followers
deal with the problems or conflicts of evil in the world. The story itself
tells them clearly that weeds always exist and grow among the good plants. Good
seeds (children of God) are wheat and bad seeds (the children of the evil ones)
we learn more about this lesson from the parable, we must understand that this
situation is very common in our lives, our churches, our society and in the
world. There are always good and bad; two points of view, two typical
characters and they divide in two groups and against each other. It’s very sad
that this causes division, hatred, blame and killing.
is very clearly talking about two totally different characters; one does not
produce any harvest; and the other produces an abundant harvest. The challenge
is, if we try to remove the weeds, the other good plants might be
uprooted. In Matthew’ reading today, the workers of the field were
frustrated and worried when they saw weeds growing among the wheat. They
asked, “Master, what kind of seeds did you plant? Where did all these
weeds come from? Would you like us to take out all of weeds from the
field?” They shared their thoughts and ask Jesus what to do with the
weeds. Jesus response to the workers was: “NO; if you remove all of
the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them, instead, wait for both of
them to grow together until harvest.”
teaches his followers not to encourage the weeds…not to get into conflict or
argue over what is right or wrong. Instead they are to be patience, and
live among the weeds until harvest. I think, in some cases, this metaphor
doesn’t work out because if they wait too long before the wheat grows, the
weeds might become too strong and kill the wheats’ roots. The focus of
Jesus teaching on this parable teaches us how to live out our faith boldly.Jesus guides his followers to seek God’s
beauty, and the mystery of God which grows among the weeds. Wisdom knows
the difference and God’s truth will be known by the end of the day. Jesus
encourages his disciples to find God’s truth among them as children of God. No
one is perfect and we are only Kingdom builders not the Master, as Archbishop
Oscar Romero said.
Recently, we have encountered many children coming and
playing, and riding their bicycles in the church parking lot. We
understand that the community people need a safe space for their children’s activities
during the Pandemic, as children might be limited in finding a safe place to
go. On the other hand, this is a private parking place not a public
playground for children and families. It has become a safety issue.
What are we going to do with them?
Do we need to get the law involved? It is easy to say to them, “You can’t
use this parking lot because of the safety issue for both your children and the
drivers. According to the law, the church can build a fence or
entrance to close this area off to the public. This way, it would be easy
to get the message out that they can’t use the property and it would protect
the driver’s safety.
question I have then, is, “How is a church different other organization? We
know that Jesus was often in trouble at God’s temple. Pharisees always
criticized Jesus’ ministry when he helped the outcasts, and the poor and drew
the children and strangers close to him. Should the church be open to the
outsiders and strangers or should they close their doors and keep the world
out. I know of one United Church whose doors were closed because the church was
divided into two groups; one group supported allowing the homeless to sleep in
the church in the winter, the other group were against it, they wanted to keep
the church purely as a place of worship. Both roles are important to the church
and both are also not perfect, but if they were to focus on Jesus ‘s mission
instead of who is right and who is wrong, what would they choose to do?
Instead of finding God’s beauty and God’s truth among them, they separated into
two groups fighting over who was right and who was wrong.
we as Christians say to this world is that all are loved through God’s grace
is the mission of this church in this community’s neighborhood? Sometimes
we do a lot of talking but fail to act. I am inviting us to use the
wisdom Jesus gives us for today, as we consider how to meet our own needs, as
well as help out our neighbor’schildrenduring this unusual time.
reminds me of how the Salvation Army began their ministry. In London,
England in 1865, a minister, William Booth took his message of hope to the
poor, the homeless, the hungry and destitute. Then 2 years later, The Salvation
Army developed into a ministry offering basic schooling, reading rooms, penny
banks, soup kitchens and relief aid to the destitute.
In 1882Canada adopted founder William Booth’s ministry - preaching
‘salvation’ to hungry people. The Salvation Army operates today, in partnership
with the government, to offer many social service programs for the poor and
Pharisees in God’s temple always criticized Jesus’ ministry and mission, for
example when Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath day the Pharisees complained, or
when Jesus heals a man who has a demon so that he is able to talk and see, the
Pharisees blamed, accused and put Jesus down by using their power and
teaches us not to worry about our challenges, but to pray and discern how to
live as Christians spiritually. Jesus promises that we do not need to
worry about the weeds, God will take care of them when the harvest comes, until
then, please don’t be discouraged but hopeful, have patience to live among
others and to be a better disciple under the Master’s grace.
Church is God’s temple; we welcome all as children of God. All are given an
opportunity to know us, and our daily struggles to love and be loved, accept
and be accepting, and to be compassionate to strangers.
is a great time to reflect on the hope we have for our church and how we can
make a church for all, accepting and loving as Christians.
Prayers of the
God of grace, we come to you
Believing you are presence with us
We give thanks for the gifts of faith and
trust that enable us to meet each day as it comes.
Be with us all who major decisions in their
lives- decisions about jobs, relationships and priorities guild them by Your
May that know you are with them,
whatever choices they make.
We pray for all who are ill, for those at
home, in hospital and in other care places,
May the suffering know your healing presence,
especially pray for Myra Bechtel-- Joyce Mounsteven ’s sister from her surgery
recovery. May they be strengthened in
body, mind, and spirit.
Be with all who care for sick. Equip them with
your compassion and patience.
We pray for who are grieving.
Comfort the sorrowing with your hope
Enable us to be a support to those who mourn.
We pray for all who are
worn down in body or in mind by the burdens they carry.
We do not despair
but proclaim your goodness.
We pray for this congregation and all of its
households. Help us to live out our faith to bring honour to you and life,
energy. and hope to all. God, help us learn to find ways to truly love our
neighbor and to accept the challenge of offering grace in courage and in
May we remain
faithful to our calling, as your son, Jesus was faithful.
All this, and the prayers of our hearts, we
offer in Christ name. Amen