Sermon for Trinity 6
Our Reading this morning is from Matthew's Gospel Chapter 13; verses 24-30
The Parable of the Weeds
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds (darnel) come from? “
‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Something to think about?
I often drive along Pett Lane in Charing. On one side of the road is a field in which over the last few months I have watched the crop that the farmer had sown grow. First the small green seedlings, then as they grew they became recognisable as plants. Now of course they are ripening and starting to turn a light brown colour. All through this period since before Christmas to now I have seen the changes slowly happening.
Of course to many of you born and bred in the country, this is an annual process. Perhaps one you even take for granted - winter ploughing, spring sowing and then summer harvesting. But to a “townie” like me, born and bred in London, it is still like a miracle ! And this parable often comes to mind. As I read it again I am amazed at what truths there are therein.
It is one of the most practical parables Jesus ever told.
(i) We see that there is evil in the world, seeking and waiting to destroy the good seed. Our experience is that both kinds of influence act upon our lives, the influence which helps the seed of the word to flourish and to grow, and the influence which seeks to destroy the good seed before it can produce fruit at all. We therefore must be for ever on our guard.
(ii) We can understand how hard it is to distinguish between those who are in the Kingdom and those who are not. A person may appear to be good and may in fact be bad;or may appear to be bad and may yet be good.
We must not be too quick to classify people and label them good or bad without knowing all the facts.
(iii) . If the reapers had had their way, they would have tried to tear out the darnel and they would have torn out the wheat as well. Judgment had to wait until the harvest came. A person in the end will be judged, not by any single act or stage in their life, but by their whole life. Judgment cannot come until the end. A person may make a great mistake, and then redeem themselves and, by the grace of God, atone for it by making the rest of life a lovely thing. A person may live an honourable life and then in the end wreck it all by a sudden collapse into sin. No one who sees only part of a thing can judge the whole.
(iv) We are reminded that judgment does come in the end. It may be that, humanly speaking, in this life the sinner seems to escape the consequences, but there is a life to come. It may be that, humanly speaking, goodness never seems to enter into its reward, but there is a new world to redress the balance of the old.
(v) It exhorts us that the only person with the right to judge is God. It is God alone who can discern the good and the bad; it is God alone who sees all of a person and all of their life. It is God alone who can judge.
Keep a moment of silence and reflect on these thoughts
A prayer to round off our time with The Lord
Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord.