Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (NRSV)
Verse 24He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; Verse 25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. Verse 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. Verse 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?' Verse 28He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' Verse 29But he replied, 'No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Verse 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.'" Verse 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." Verse 37He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; Verse 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, Verse 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Verse 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. Verse 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, Verse 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Verse 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
In today’s reading Jesus tells a parable full of all kinds of characters. Many times, I try to put myself in the story in order to better understand. If you placed yourself in this story, who or what might you be? Perhaps today you identify with the sower of the good seed or the one who comes by night. Maybe you are feeling like the slave who wants to judge quickly and rip out the weeds. On different days I identify with each of those characters. Today I identify with the wheat and the weeds. As a wheat plant I try to produce a harvest of good wheat. But as both saint and sinner I also find that sometimes I act like a weed. Whether wheat or weed at this minute, I am a witness to our God, who instructs us to suspend judgment for the moment. Let fields be! Let the crop continue to produce more wheat.
O God, today we come before you as wheat and sometimes as weeds growing in your field. Thank you for being patient and full of grace as we continue to grow in you. Help us to see everyone as precious, with potential to bear good fruit. Amen.