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Matthew 13:24-46, Parables of the Kingdom

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field;
— Matthew 13:24

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, February 17, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

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Main Idea: We can grow and make space for others to grow, too.

Jesus compared the wicked and the good to weeds and wheat growing together in a field. The farmer’s servants offered to clear the weeds, but in doing so, they would harm the wheat as well. The farmer instructed them to leave the weeds alone, and he would have his reapers take care of it at the harvest time.

Let’s assume we are considered children of the kingdom— good seeds. It is not the job of the good seed to pull up the weeds. That is a job for the reapers—angels. And it is not a job for now, but a job for later.

We are asked to live alongside people who are not of like mind. We are not asked to change them, to take them down, or even to have them taken down. Our job is to grow. An interesting thing happens when we make space to grow. Others grow alongside us, too. Like a tiny mustard seed, space to grow can explode, giving others room to grow.

What is the cost of growing? Everything. Like a merchant who finds a fine pearl, we are asked to give everything for the growth of the kingdom.

Someone in my neighborhood put a sign in their front yard that says something like, “Repent, for evildoers will be thrown into the fire furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” It makes me sad and angry. To me, it says, “Be righteous like me or suffer the consequences.” There is so much wrong with that ideology. First, it assumes they are wheat and everyone else are weeds. But are they without sin? I doubt it. Second, it assumes everyone else’s ideologies are wrong, while theirs are right. But isn’t there space in this world for conflicting ideologies to live together? Couldn’t I, for example, be exuberantly in favor of gay marriage, while at the same time respecting that some will never quite get there? I don’t have to change them. I just have to live alongside them and treat them with the respect and honor due any of God’s children. It is not my job to judge or condemn. My job is to grow, to learn, to listen, to be accepting and

tolerant of others’ limitations. My job is to be the best damn wheat God has ever sown.