Pulling Weeds

2020-07-19 – Year A – Proper 11 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Psalm 86; Matthew 13:24-30, 34-43

  • Psalm 94:1-3
    • Do you ever feel like reciting these words? I do whenever I look around me and see how much evil there is everywhere I look. Just when we think things can’t get much worse, they always do.

Pulled in Two Directions

  • This is exactly what the Gospel today is all about. In this parable, a farmer sows good seed and an enemy comes at night to sow weeds.
  • Jesus tells us that, like the farmer, the Son of Man (Jesus) planted good seed (sons of the Kingdom) in this world, and Satan sowed bad seed (sons of the evil one) (vv. 37-39).
  • Instead of immediately removing the weeds, God intends to allow the wheat and weeds to co-exist.
    • This makes the world a very uncomfortable place sometimes.
    • It is because of the weeds of sin that we have war, murder, crime, and abuse.
    • Why does he do this? Why does he allow the weeds to continue? Why doesn’t he just smite all of the sinners?
      • Christians have asked these questions many times over the years, and we can see this question asked a number of times in Scripture.

Where is God’s Justice?

  • In the Psalms, the words “How long O LORD!” are found in 8 different psalms
  • He doesn’t end it all because it is not time yet. The farmer tells his servants not to pull the weeds, “lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them” (v. 29).
    • “[The] Weeds… are probably darnel, a weedy rye grass with poisonous black seeds which resembles wheat in its early growth but is easily distinguished from it at maturity.”
  • There are many whom God desires to count among the wheat, but they are not ready yet. There are many whom God desires to turn to him and be saved who have not yet turned. There are plenty of us sinful saints who don’t quite look like mature wheat yet!
    • Since the time of the fall, we have all been pulled in two directions, God pulling us toward righteousness and Satan, along with the world and our sinful nature, pulling us towards destruction and death.
    • Martin Luther coin a phrase to describe this saying “a Christian is at the same time both righteous and a sinner” (Simul justus et peccator).
    • I will admit that I often look more like a weed than wheat.
  • Psalm 86:15 “For you, Lord, are good and gracious, * and of great mercy to all those who call upon you” (BCP 2019).
    • God will bring his justice in the end, but for now, we have work to do. Both inside of ourselves as well as out in the world.
    • God wants to make sure that the wheat is preserved at whatever cost. He wants our fruit to ripen so that on the last day it will be perfectly clear what is wheat and what is weed.
  • Paul talks about this as the groaning of creation. Romans 8:22–24
    • We are in a time of waiting. We have the firstfruits, and so we wait with longing for the glory that is to come.
    • We long for the day when we will be gathered into the barn, we long for a time when the temptations and sin of this world will be behinds us and we can be the sinless saints we were created to be. but in the meantime, we wait in expectation. Being diligent in the work God gives us to do.

Doing the Lord’s Work

  • So how are we to go about this work? We are to be in the world but not of the world. John 17:15-19 “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:15–18, ESV)
    • We need to be in the world so that those who do not yet believe have a chance to hear the Gospel and respond to it. At the same time, we need to stay separated enough from the world that we don’t become corrupted by it. This is a hard balance to strike, and we need to avoid the temptation to go to either extreme.
    • We need to be very careful about what we consume. Making sure we take in at least as much from a Christian worldview as we do from a secular perspective.
    • Story of life in College. Couldn’t find a church I liked to I ended up mostly not going at all. This led to more sin and more distance from God.
  • The Christian Family and the Church should be your two safe havens from the world. These are the places we need to run back to when we have become overloaded with the lies this world feeds us. Remember that the world is not your home, and make sure you retreat to your safe havens whenever it begins to feel too comfortable.
    • Like they say on the airplanes, put on your own mask then help those around you.
  • So go make disciples in the world, but make sure that your oxygen mask is on tight first.

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