Imagine a world leader who delivers a speech that includes a story that doesn’t make a lot of sense to listeners. Then behind closed doors comes the meeting of the cabinet or diplomats or generals who ask the leader, “What did you really mean?”
That’s how it is with the disciples. They are Jesus’ coworkers in building a beloved community, the family of God on this earth. “I’m the householder,” Jesus implies. “While I—even we—plant seeds all over the territory, the opposing side is doing the same. For now, I’m not going to call them out, even though you may want me to do so” (ap).
Imagine the disciples’ agitation. If they are like most of us, they already have a list of names of people who aren’t authentic, genuine, bona fide followers of Christ. What about these “weed people?” Does it help them to hear Jesus say that he will send his angels to collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers at the right time? All will be taken care of. Everyone will be known by the fruit they produce—love, joy, and peace or selfishness, crabbiness, and chaos. (See Galatians 5:22.)
In the meantime, the “wheat” will grow steadily toward an enormous benefit to others. In fact, those in right relationship to Jesus will come to shine “like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” As always, God will continue to work behind the scenes as the wheat matures and grows. The impatience of the rest of us can be put on hold as God keeps working.
O God, I trust you to do the work of separating the wheat from the weeds. Keep me from harming any wheat, but help me to nurture others in their growth in you. Amen.
As God promised land and descendants to Abraham, in the reading from Genesis God confirms these same promises to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. The psalmist meditates on and takes comfort in the fact that God knows everything and is everywhere. He asks God to search his heart and reveal if there are sins away from which he needs to turn. The Romans passage continues Paul’s reflection on the life in the Spirit. Because we are children of God, we cry out with confidence that God will hear and answer. Jesus tells a parable in Matthew concerning the final judgment. He says that the wicked will be taken first, then the righteous will be gathered together.
Read Genesis 28:10-19a. When has God quietly been at work in your life? How do these experiences help you recognize God’s presence with you in ordinary days?
Read Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24. God already knows us completely. What is holding you back from inviting God to search your heart?
Read Romans 8:12-25. Consider the ways you already resemble God. In what ways to you need or wish to be transformed to resemble God more fully?
Read Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. Reflect on a time when you were frustrated by God’s inaction in the face of injustice. In hindsight, how was God at work?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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