Wheat & Weeds

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we are on land of the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We are awed that they celebrate the religious significance of place, plant and all living creatures; and that care for the earth is implanted in their law. We honour them and also delight in the sacred in our midst. We pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit we might work together for reconciliation and justice in this land

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 NRSV

The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat

24 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And 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?” 28He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” 29But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let 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.” ’

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ 37He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!

Reflection

This is the first of Matthews parables that begin with “The kingdom of heaven is like …” Jesus is teaching against the building of boundaries and efforts to have and create a pure, exclusive communities. It is also a parable of the coming judgement and about not passing judgement. That Judgement is Gods business and will be settled in the end. Judgement is not for us to spend our time and energy on. The parable is realistic about the world we find ourselves in. It does not paint a rosy picture of the world as both good & evil present. It is one or the other, no sliding scale, it is Good and Evil, no in between, that reflects how Matthew saw things. There is an acceptance of this reality with no attempts to banish evil. That the bad is something that we have to learn to live with. This world with the good and the bad is the field in which we find ourselves. This does not mean we just give in. This is not a call to be passive in the face of evil. To ignore injustice in the world, violence in society or wrong in the church. Rather it’s a realistic reminder that we alone cannot get rid of all the weeds. We and other good people are to remain strong in love, compassion and justice. But it is with God that ultimately the weeds will be destroyed. Remember that evil is temporary only good endures. The parable ends with ‘the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom’. What a beautiful image. Just like winter sunshine breaking through heavy clouds. The parable ends with a place of joy & hope.

Prayer

Almighty God,
from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed:
Kindle, we pray you,
in the hearts of all people the true love of peace;
and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom
those who take counsel for the nations of the earth;
that in tranquillity your kingdom may go forward,
till the earth be filled with knowledge of your love:
In the power of your Spirit.
Amen