Be The Wheat
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And 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?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let 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.
Matthew 13: 24-30
School supplies are coming off the shelf, new clothes are being selected (or assigned), and classrooms have been prepared. We pray God’s blessings on students, teachers, administrations, staff, parents and everyone who will need to adjust to traffic changes with school returning. I hope that this year is filled with new learning, creativity, and growth as we move deeper into who God designed and desires us to be.
It is hard to believe in the current heat of South Texas but back to school season also means that fall is coming. Historically, fall was a time when the work, weather, and land combined in God’s providence to produce a harvest. We have the same expectation for our life together at University this fall. What will the harvest look like when our work, on this dirt finds its fullness in God’s grace?
Jesus says the Kingdom of God is like a farmer who had a good field in which he planted good seed. When everyone was sleeping an enemy came and sowed weeds. As the plants grow it becomes clear to the workers that weed is growing among the wheat. The workers go to the owner of the field and ask: “Did you do this?” No, comes the reply, an enemy has done this. “Can we fix it?” they ask. No, you will wreck the wheat in your attempt to remove the weeds…
For too long, I thought the church, God’s people, pastors, and anyone else who wanted to help was called to locate, identify, and eliminate weeds. The mission was to find out what is wrong and fight it or fix it. I don’t think I am alone as the culture, media, and most folks I know are far better at seeing the weeds in the world.
Any of the kids heading back to school can tell you that on a 20 question quiz where you get a 90 it would be rare for someone to ask which 18 questions did you get correct? We practice trying to eliminate what is a mistake, wrong or off. It would not take long on social media to see the disproportionate mention of what is wrong and who is to blame compared to creative solutions or celebrations of what is good in life.
On its own, this tendency is not evil, but Jesus says that at the heart of the kingdom of God is a different vocation. We are challenged to be wheat focused people. To find, feed, and grow the good is the calling of God’s people. Being wheat focused means the most important question is not what is wrong with our schools, our families, or our community but what is good and blessed. Being wheat people means training our efforts and energy in the creative tasks of multiplying and magnifying that which gives life.
Where is wheat growing? Where is good happening? What can we do to make more good, extend more blessing and ease more burdens?
Even in the heat, a harvest is coming,
Our new sermon series is called ‘Against the Grain’ and it will explore those things we believe run counter to the prevailing currents of culture. Wednesday, August 28th our midweek gatherings are returning and I hope you will join us.