Got Wheat?

July 20, 2014

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Proper 11 – RCL Year A
Genesis 28:10-19a; Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

In today’s gospel we have another parable from Jesus to the crowds, and as Matthew seems kind enough to do, we also have an explanation of the symbols in the parable, shared only with the disciples… and us, it seems.

Like the sower and the seeds parable we heard last Sunday, Jesus continues to use farming imagery familiar to his audience. But in this parable the seeds no longer represent the spreading of God’s word. Instead we have two kinds of seeds. The seeds of wheat are the good seeds sown by the Master. The other seeds are weeds, sown at night by the enemy. We are told that the good seeds represent the children of the kingdom, while the weeds represent the children of the evil one, sown by the devil.

Now, some might look at this text and conclude that one’s goodness or evilness is predetermined – that when we come into this world, we are either cast as a seed of wheat or as a weed, and there’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t believe that this is how things work. And, for the purpose of Matthew’s gospel, this parable is more likely about Jesus’ hope to expand God’s kingdom in the world.

Through this parable, Jesus is beckoning the crowd to be WHEAT… that is, to hear his message about God and live into God’s call to love others. The alternative is to fall under the influence of those who act contrary to God’s message of love; those who focus on, or get distracted by, worldly things.

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Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Proper 10 – RCL Year A
Genesis 25:19-34; Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

The parable of the sower and the seeds always takes me back to the days when I was in Youth group, many, many, MANY years ago.

1976 Godspell_049McCWhen I was in the 7th or 8th grade the youth leaders decided that we would put on a production influenced by the musical Godspell. There was a group of teens that did the singing and another group, of which I was a part, that did pantomimes of narrated parables. We wore clown-style make up and bright-colored clothes and got to run up and down the aisles of the church – what else could you ask for!

The parable of the sower and the seeds was one of the big hits. As each set of seeds were tossed by the sower, children would drop in a squat on the floor in a tucked position. My favorite memory was the first set to seeds thrown. They were played by smaller children, like Charlie or Callie’s age. Then, Randy, a tall lanky teen, played the big bird that came swooping down and lifted the little person-seed way above his head and carried them down the center aisle, cawing all the way. Read the rest of this entry »

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