Lover of good books and good company. Gardener, educator, closet singer, love to cook for everybody. A great night is cooking for my wonderful partner and friends, listening to some blues or jazz, with tons of laughter thrown in.
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IM GOLDY: Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.
Within the Christian church there has always been a tendency to want to sort out who is “in” and who is “out”. To an extent this is not only legitimate but essential. Anyone who leads in the church has to make assessments of members of the church. And none of us can avoid making such assessments in our normal relationships with others.
Problems arise when these assessments take the form of decisive judgements. We can write people off, or pigeon hole them and thus fail to understand them or even relate to them. And the further problem is that we rarely have all the information at hand which allows us to come to firm conclusions.
Just because someone expresses their faith differently, or emphasises different aspects of their faith, does not mean they lack faith. To assume our faith and the form it takes as the only yardstick by which to measure the faith of others is to confuse ‘firm faith’ with sheer arrogance.
Jesus, who was no soft touch, says we need to be careful to sort out the weeds from the wheat. There certainly are weeds, and there may even be times we need to take action to guard against them. But final verdicts have to wait till the only one with the right to deliver the verdict does so. We are sometimes too hard or too soft. Jesus always gets it just right.
cedarrrrock: If the weeds were wild mustard, then leaving them to grow in the wheat field would inhibit the growth of about 10 square feet or more of wheat around every mustard plant. You should search out and pull out those mustard weeds, with their bright yellow flowers, as soon as you notice them. Then you'd probably only lose a few wheat plants that were right next to the mustard weeds. Don't listen to farm advisors who tell you that you should spray your whole wheat field with a broadleaf herbicide before the wheat goes to boot stage, because the mustard will still grow, although low to the ground in a snakey way, and produce more mustard seed, and still inhibit the surrounding wheat growth, and some of the wheat will likely already be in the boot stage, in which case the herbicide will be taken into the wheat, as evidenced by the curl the herbicide gives some of the wheat heads. I write from experience. But I agree that we should not judge others as to their spiritual worthiness.
J a g u a r: Rose, thank you for sharing your knowledge, experience, and understanding you've about the youth as a teacher. I wish you experience the holiday festivities with your loved ones in an environment of total acceptance, love, and peace.