Homily – Jesus Condones Weed (Title borrowed from another sermon)

Matthew 13:24-43

24He 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.’”

After telling two other parables…. He has to explain the first one…

 

36Then 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!

 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart           be acceptable to you, O God           my rock and my liberator. Psalm 19:14

 

 

 

HOMILY –                                JESUS CONDONES WEED

 

Pericope –

  • Weeds sown with Seeds
  • Malicious vandalism of crop
  • Hopes of choking out crop

The actual weed Jesus spoke of was a ryegrass called “darnell.”

  • In its early stages it resembles wheat;
  • but instead of bearing fruit,it’s poisonous.
  • So not only is darnell useless, it’s toxic as

TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION –

Metaphor

God – sower of Seeds –                             Good people

Devil –sower of Weeds –                            evil people

In the END

God sorts out the good   from the bad…                                                                takes Good into the kingdom                 and sends bad in the flames

BUT, I ASK THAT WE LOOK AT THIS PARABLE WITH A DIFFERENT LENS…

CHARACTERS IN THE STORY

SEEDS represent ?

WEEDS represent ?

 

Seeds –                                                                                                                                          those trying to do God’s will/Follow Christ

Weeds –                                                                                                                                         those struggling with  God’s will/Christ

Seeds –      Facts                                                                                                            Weeds –     Lies

Seeds – Truth                                                                                                                           Weeds –     Untruth

Seeds –      Accurate News Coverage                                                                     Weeds –     Fake News Stories

At one time or another – we have found ourselves surrounded by WEEDS…

GOSSIP?

Mildred, the small town gossip and self-appointed monitor of church morals, was always one to stick nose into other people’s business.

Most members of the congregation did not approve of her intrusions, but she was feared, so all maintained their silence.

She took that fatal step too far one day, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the small town’s only bar all afternoon.

She emphatically told Frank (in front of several others) that EVERYONE SEEING THAT PICKUP THERE WOULD KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING !

Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment then just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house, walked home ….and left it there all night.

LIES/RUMORS

These weeds are the hardest.

We want to stop the spread –

But rumors/lies cannot be stopped –

We must spread the truth just as quickly… then let it go

Often we have to live with the lies/rumors – until the day the truth comes to light….

 

FAKE NEWS

Although it has always existed…

Now it has a proper name

AND a perfect disguise.

Fake news is frustrating, infuriating

For many – we want to take it upon ourselves                                                 to jump on the lies/fake news and WEED them OUT –

Shout out contradictions and

Root out the truth…

In this parable – what is Jesus trying to convey?

Jesus seems to be saying that God’s Answer to Problem – is to do nothing —

Let the lies,                                                                                                                           untruths,                                                                                                                                          fake news                                                                                                                                             rumors                                                                                                                          continue to circulate –

Go On about your life… live it according to God’s will –

Racing in to refute a lie only   keeps  the lie center stage…

Once the story is out there…                                                                                                       an immediate  correction  rarely repairs the damage

Stirring up the mud…

The lies begin to muddy the water – but then when we respond trying to refute the lies, we stir the water more and more mud gets into the mix…

Jesus says —  wait – don’t act now… let the mud settle and THEN the truth will appear…

Don’t’ spend all of our time trying to fight the lies, and nothing else gets done…

_______________

Jesus wants to get across to the disciples that attempting to pull out the weeds before harvest will only result in pulling out the wheat as well….

God wants us to Wait –

In the end, the lies and the       truth will be sorted out …

BUT

BUT

BUT

This means we have to allow the lies to continue to live and grow –

Until God moves in….               Letting God handle it…

Trusting God to bring the                truth into the light

And send the lies into flames

 

ILLUSTRATIONS,

There was a church in which the minister asked the people to imagine what would happen if they adopted a policy of weed-pulling,

if they drew a circle around their little town of Wingate, North Carolina, and made a vow that no evil would cross that line, that no weeds would grow within that border.

 

The minister said,  “You know, you and I could spend the rest of our lives protecting that boundary, standing shoulder to shoulder with pitchforks and clubs, making sure that we kept drugs and alcohol and pornography and gambling safely on the other side.

I think it would take all of our energy and most of our time. But what if we did it? What if we succeeded? What would we have?

We would have a town characterized by the absence of evil            which is not the same as a town characterized by the presence of good.

And maybe this is what Jesus was talking about all along, that it’s better to have a wheat field with weeds in it than a field with nothing in it at all. We also have to understand that what is a plant to one may be a weed to another…

I am sure I have one of the healthiest WEEDS growing in my back yard…who knows… I am not deciding…

The same goes for some people around us we may see as weeds, who AREN’T –

Transgender       Illegal Aliens       Muslims     Homeless

Mentally Challenged

A man wrote about someone he viewed as a WEED…

He said: One of the best Christians I’ve ever known was a Roman Catholic who cursed and smoked and had a heart as big as the Gulf of Mexico.

She was not the kind of person you would find serving punch in the church fellowship hall. But she started the shelter movement in Atlanta.

I remember when she stopped a knife fight at our night shelter by walking calmly between two combatants and saying, “You guys know better than      this.” And that was the end of that.

When one of our homeless friends died on the street,                                she claimed his body,  paid for the cremation, and waited for someone-  friend or family-to come.

No one ever came. She drove around for weeks with his ashes in the backseat of her car.

Finally, she asked the rector of a downtown Episcopal church                    if the ashes could be placed in the church’s memorial garden.

He said: “Our policies will allow only the remains of relatives to be placed here,”   “Perfect,” she said.   “Jesse was my brother.”

It’s often hard to tell who is wheat and who is weed.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am wheat and sometimes I am weed,

Often, I can’t tell when I am being either…