When my daughter was a second grader we went up the street to a pizza parlor where there were free riding toys for little kids. This was the first time we'd been at this place for pizza. There were a lot of kids playing so my sociable daughter joined right in the fun. She waited her turn and climbed on one of the riding toys and another kid came over and pushed her off then took over the ride.
She ran to me and I hugged her while she and I quietly watched for the kid's mother or father to come and discipline him. I saw the parents looking at him. No one came to discipline. Other kids were pushed off other riding toys and I realized most of the watching parents actually thought that this was appropriate.
The parents were encouraging their children to be mean to other kids in order to get what they wanted. Thankfully our pizza was ready and we sat down to eat. After a prayer together blessing the food and the folks I paused to think about Jesus Parable of the wheat and the tares (weeds).
Jesus tells us a Parable about the kinds of people we are going to find in life. Even when you and I are expecting to find good all around us... the honest truth is that some folks will be tempted to evil and meanness. Jesus says that some folks will not resist evil, will fall right into doing what is hurtful, and you may or may not recognize they are trouble weeds. The Holy Spirit will help you discern.
Jesus is righteousness and justice. He and God made a moral universe. The Kingdom of God within our hearts changes oppression, suffering, and apathy. The change that is brought about through Jesus is shown in His love for us and His justice has the victory. One day He will return to us and the wheat and the weeds will be harvested and gathered, separated, and Jesus says that the folks who are the weeds will be in more trouble than they ever thought was possible.
Together, our hope is in Jesus. Right now, post haste, hurry hurry--it is now ever more important that we get the message to others about His love. It was shortly after the kid pushed my kid off of the riding toy that the Holy Spirit did something remarkable in the Church where I was Pastor. My secretary had noticed a trailer park where some of her kids friends lived, invited them, gave them a lift to Church in her car, but there were more kids than she could haul. She made two, sometimes three trips to get all the kids. She asked me to ask the Church if they would buy a van to pick up those kids on Sunday morning and the Church didn't even hesitate to do just that.
When the kids poured out of the van on Sunday morning they were like a herd of ponies rushing to Sunday School. In Church they behaved very well except when the Scripture reader read John 21:7 from the NRSV version and heard the word 'naked' and they could not stop laughing, and all of us started laughing too. It's a delightful memory I have of Pastoring that Church. Holy Spirit led. My friend, let's bring the children to Jesus in more ways than this and help them to know Jesus' love, joy, and abundant life.
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” Matthew 13:24-30
To God be the Glory!
Rev. Patricia E. Walker, AlphaChurch.org