Summary: Parable of the Tares, about our lives as Christians living in a sinful world.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt, the Holy Three In One who has sown us, provides for us, and makes us grow, even among weeds.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Welcome to Agriculture Sundays! For the past two Sundays now we have been hearing about soil and crop, and seed and weed. We have been hearing about good soil and bad soil. We have been hearing about good plants and bad plants. We have been inundated with so much information about seeds and ground and bearing good fruit that we might start getting a little vegetative ourselves in the pews when we start to hear about “just…. another… seed… story.”
It is my joy and privilege to tell you, that at least I think, this isn’t “just… another…. seed… story.” This is a story about God’s grace, the devil’s plan, and God winning in the end. This is a story that has all of the classic ingredients of a blockbuster movie! It has the peaceful beginning, the seeming shift in the balance of power, the feel as if things might not work out in the end, and then….then the victory of the righteous.
Really. Think about the last action movie you watched. Wasn’t that the plot line? What Jesus is telling us in this parable is the plot line. It is the plot line to the biggest blockbuster story ever, His Kingdom, built on salvation and the forgiveness of sins, for us. So if you wouldn’t mind, let’s take a look at this plot line given to us by Jesus himself without yawns and mutterings about it being “just a weed story.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in His field, the dirt and mud of our Christian Baptized lives, and of our surroundings. You can almost see a picturesque farmer-God doing this. Picture a sunny day, a tall old man, handsome, with lines on his face from laughing, smiling, tears, and being in the sun. He’s wearing a broad brimmed hat to keep the sun out, and he’s walking through this tilled field tossing seed, talking to the birds and creatures of the earth and humming a little song. He enjoys this. He enjoys planting this seed and scattering it everywhere – just as our God enjoys seeing His Word go out amongst us.
Picture the sunset. Picture the sun going down and our old farmer, this old fatherly man, sitting under a tree with a glass of iced tea looking out over the field were he just sowed his crop imagining what might come of it.
The next morning comes and the next morning after that. This farmer looks across his land and sees that it is good. He sees the good that he has put in the ground and he begins to see the seedlings sprout up.
A few more weeks later, his men come to him looking worried. “There are weeds,” they say. They don’t know where the weeds came from and they begin to ask, “you did sow good seed didn’t you?” We ask this question too sometimes. We know that God says in His Word is good and does what it says – but then we begin to see the weeds. We begin to see things going wrong in our lives, in our country, even…even in our church. We start to ask God – “how did these weeds get in here?”
The answer is simple, but it isn’t heartening. “An enemy did this.”
This enemy, this evil entity isn’t passive. He doesn’t sit around and hope that he’ll find a way to demolish God’s plan for our lives; he is active and working. He has sown his own seeds, seeds that often times look like good seeds. In the time of Jesus there was a certain weed, called a “zizania” which looked exactly like wheat right up until the time that it began to grow it’s head – the true useable part of the plant.
Often we don’t catch our weeds until their true nature starts showing up. We go about our daily lives, doing this sin and that sin – following what we think is right in the eyes of society or our peers and not really caring what is right in the eyes of God. We let the weeds grow and we don’t even know that they are growing. We don’t know they are growing until finally we are struck, surprised by what is really growing in our gardens.
So what’s growing in your garden? We know that the Word of God has been planted in you, but what have you let grow beside it? Have you let a little lie grow into a large nasty stalk? Have you let a little envy grow into a green-eyed monster? Have you let a little hate grow into a silent, cold, and impersonal root in your life? If you’re honest about it, you know what I’m talking about. There is something in your life. Something in your day-to-day activity that you do or have done that you’re now seeing grow into a big ugly plant.