Lectionary Reflection: Matthew 13: 24-43: Weeds and Seeds

I know many people who refuse to go to church.  They are turned off to the whole idea of God and Christ, they say, primarily because of the church.  The church is full of hypocrites.  And I can’t argue with them.

The pat answer is to say great!  Church is where the hypocrites belong.  Of course, that makes it rather difficult for the evangelical to then suggest, “So why don’t you join us?”…

But I can’t argue with that.

We all know there are weeds in the garden.  There are people in church for all the wrong reasons you can think of.  Every pastor knows the weeds in their congregation.  If they claim there aren’t any, they are possibly lying or may be weeds themselves.  And yes, pastors and preachers can be weeds too.  No doubt.

But you say, how can we fix it so we don’t turn off so many people from church and from God?  What can we do about it?  Do nothing.  If it is the right sort of nothing.

Speak positively.  Don’t speak out against anyone.  Support faith, hope and love.  Don’t try to root out the wrong lest you root out the good as well.  Encourage joy and peace.  Above all, fast and pray and trust God in the process.  When we all come to fruition, God will root us all out together and then he will decide.  Let God decide.

“But the person sitting next to me is so busy promoting their political agenda, I can’t tell if they even know Jesus Christ.” 

Well, don’t sit next to them. 

“But it is my spouse.”

I can’t help you there except to suggest doing the right sort of nothing.  Speak of all things that are right, good and true, then fast and pray and trust God.  Trust God.

You see, Jesus has already put in the yeast.  He has already planted that mustard seed.  The loaf will be leavened.  The biggest of plants will grow.  Our place is to be faithful – as faithful as we can be.  Our place is not to weed out our neighbor.

But in Nazi Germany they said things might have been different if people spoke up sooner.

They say lots of things.  I recommend reading or re-reading Bonheoffer, The Cost of Discipleship.  Bonheoffer died in a Nazi prison.  Read the Barmen Declaration he wrote with Karl Barth.  It states simply that Hitler and the Nazi government is not God (an obvious truth).  Instead, Jesus Christ alone is the Lord of all life and we will follow Christ, regardless.

Bonheoffer spoke about what he positively believed in, and tried very hard to do the right sort of nothing.  He trusted God.  Should we trust God less?


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