Sunday, October 18, 2009

The parable of the weeds

They will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil…. Matthew 13:43 NIV

Last July, I took out some really big weeds growing behind the vegetables. These weeds were huge. Treelike. Their stems were an inch across, and woody. They topped the six-foot fence. I pulled and tugged, and perspired heavily while batting away gnats. When those roots wouldn’t loosen from the east side, I dived through the thick green pine needles to get to the west side and pull from that direction. I did finish the job, but was too late to prevent the weeds from seeding the plants that I need to pull now. The seeds were almost invisibly tiny, borne on the wind with white cottony fluff.

When I first moved here, I planted a blue morning glory vine. It was truly beautiful, but it took over the yard and climbed the fence (and grew through the wood slats), as if making for the Canadian border. It can grow a meter a day on every runner! It invaded the avocado tree, stunted the pine tree, and choked out other plants. So I tried to eradicate it. I killed the main stalks, but the runners have taken hold everywhere, coming up 30 feet away from the source. It’s a never-ending job. I can’t pour poison on the vine or pull it up without killing the desirable flowers and food-bearing plants that co-exist in the yard.

Until now! This is harvest time for the annual plants, and like Jesus’ harvesters, I let the plants and the weeds grow together, then collect the weeds to be destroyed. (Unlike Jesus’ field, my weeds will be back next year, but for now, it looks clean and orderly, and the winter sun can reach the soil and prepare it for the spring plants.)

Jesus said that weeds, symbols of the sons of the evil one, are pulled up and burned in the fire, but the good grain and fruits, representing the sons of the kingdom, are harvested by the angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil…Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:40-43 NIV

Even a city kid like me understands that parable! Won’t it be wonderful when Jesus comes to collect us in His grand harvest and glorifies our bodies to fit His kingdom? The promises He has made, He is faithful to fulfill.

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