Sowing Good Seed – Rev. Vaughn Vigil, Church on the Square in Baltimore MD
Jesus often taught in parables or stories.
Parables are short stories that often teach by criticizing bad behavior and calling for hearers to reform their lives. These are not simply reflections on the kingdom of heaven; these are directions for how to create the kingdom on earth.
Stories that made sense to the people hearing them. Or at least should make sense.
Because quite often they came back and said to him, “What did you mean by that?It doesn’t make sense to us.” And these were not just the people in that day’s crowd who were confused, these were the disciples asking the questions.
So, do these stories make sense to us today?
Do we easily understand Jesus’ message?
This is the second week in a row that we hear a story about seeds and planting. I’ll admit that I only understand the basics of planting and farming.
Yes, I’ve planted seeds and had plants come up.
We planted vegetables in the backyard one year, it was kind of a flop.
Because of a storm that lasted several days the corn did not pollinate correctly and we didn’t have much corn, the only plants that did well were the tomatoes, a single watermelon, and the okra. And I don’t even like okra.
And I certainly do understand weeds. There is this one insidious vine that is trying to choke a hedge next to my driveway. Unless I tear out that vine every week, I’m afraid it will take over the hedge and kill it. It’s that type of vine.
So why did the master in the story allow the weeds to remain?
This can also be asked as “Why does God allow bad things to happen?”
Why is God allowing this pandemic to kill so many people and disrupt so many lives?
The emotional response is that well, either there is no God, God doesn’t care, or God is evil.
Those are all emotional responses, but they are not biblical responses.
This parable tells us why there is bad along with good.
Jesus tells us he has Planted You in this World.
We are the seeds God has planted.
Reminds me of Psalm 1.
- Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
- But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night.
- He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
And what did Jesus tell us is the most important part of the law?
Love God. And then love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus has a plan and a purpose for you right where you are today. It may not be the same plan and purpose you had in mind, or the same purpose and plan that your parents had in mind, or that same plan or purpose that the evil one who sowed the weeds has in mind. But God has a plan for you, and He wants you to live by his law.
It may not be easy, but loving God, and loving your neighbor, are the only ways you are going to live God’s purpose for you.
What does that mean?
How can I love my neighbor when I’m forced to stay at home?
By staying home, you are loving your neighbor.
How can I love God when I can’t even go to church?
Remember, the church is not the building, the church is the community of believers, the church is you, every one of you at home today. The work of the church still continues. They may not be worshiping the way they used to, but the folks from the Welcome Church are still getting fed. Food is still being grown and distributed among families. And folks are still talking to each other. They are still being community.
And if you haven’t received a call lately, why haven’t you reached out and call someone. They need a call also.
Are you the good seeds or the weeds? Do you promote justice and righteousness, or do your actions or inaction damage your community?
While the parable of the weeds seems to look forward to a final judgment day, it has implications for how we build up the kingdom in our present circumstances.
As we work toward a society in which all people are treated with dignity and respect, we will have to contend with the weeds that choke justice, literally and figuratively.
Think about this. Today we are all in a story, and we don’t know the ending. In the future, how will your story be told?
At home, if you go out, on a phone call or Zoom meeting, be sure to show love to your neighbor today. And it doesn’t even have to be someone you know.