What to Do with a Field Full of Weeds

wheatfield

2017-07-23 Sermon on the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds – Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

So, how many of you would call yourselves farmers or gardeners? Well, blessed are you! I don’t really have a green thumb, but every once in a while I try to grow some flowers or something. And every time I learn the same thing. I’m not very good at growing flowers or vegetables, but I’m REALLY good at growing weeds. I don’t even have to try. In fact, the less work I put into it, the more weeds I get. It’d be great if that’s what I was going for, but it’s not. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has that experience. But there’s something else – when I do get all responsible and try to weed, I have a lot of trouble telling the difference between weeds and not-weeds. Sometimes it’s obvious – even I know what a thistle looks like. But after a while everything just looks the same. I don’t know what to pull out.

That’s kind of the basic problem in Jesus’ parable today. A farmer sows wheat in a field, but when it finally comes in, bonus! Two crops. Wheat AND weeds. You know, last week it was all about seeds that DON’T grow, and weeds that choke, and how rare a good harvest was. But that’s not our situation here. There really is a crop of wheat, and everyone sees it, and it’s totally abundant, and the weeds DON’T choke. That’s good news! But with all these weeds everywhere, how do you get the wheat without killing yourself or giving up in frustration?

Continue reading

Advertisements

We’re All Bad Soil, and Thank God It Doesn’t Matter!

jesus_on_cross

2017-07-16 Sermon on the Parable of the Sower – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

I don’t know about you, but I love Jesus’ parables. Especially those ones in the gospel of Matthew that end with weeping and gnashing of teeth, because they’re just SO HOPEFUL! But let’s save that for another time. Seriously, the parables are great for a lot of reasons. They’re easy to remember – and even when you get the details wrong, the basic point sticks. They’re interesting – you hear one a thousand times and still get hooked. But we know Jesus isn’t just telling stories – he’s teaching. So what we really want to know is how we fit into the story. Well, how fabulous that Jesus actually explains this parable, just so we might get his point.

Continue reading