Late Thursday afternoon I went down and checked on Nancy's blueberry bushes I planted late last summer. New buds were on each plant and the stems are looked healthy. I was thrilled. I did everything right to protect them and this time it payed off. Jesus told a story that reflects the nature of life. A man planted some wheat, good seed, he did everything right, but he had an enemy who wished him harm. The enemy caused weeds amidst the wheat. The workers wanted to pull them but the landowner stopped them for fear that the whole crop might be lost. (Matt 13:24-30)
This is life. In the process of trying to make our lives all they can be, we run into a lot of opposition. It comes in the evils and shallow values all around us: greed. self-seeking, fear and even natural problems like we are facing today. The tares in the scripture today were unwanted and harmful grasses that looked a lot like grain as they were growing, but were easily distinguished when fully grown. Money, social position and power look good and enticing, but we lose out, when they become the goals in themselves and lure us away from life's lasting treasures.
What do we do if we discover that some these tares have indeed invaded our life? Whether they are life's natural problems like illnesses; this virus or are more virulent societal evils like greed, dishonesty or gossip, how do we live in God. Certainly the things we can weed out, do so. However, this parable warns us against spending our time fretting about them and dealing only with the weeds.
What I see in the story is my God reminding me to use my time and efforts for cultivating what is good. Life is not perfect. We are not in the Garden of Eden. But we must resist the evil of skepticism, anger or giving up which threaten the good we do have. Reap the good things that still grow in out lives, showing the evil and the bad they cannot win against our spirit.
Folks, as we live through these times of uncertainty may we all focus on the good we do have. May we concentrate on the positives and the goodness of our God. May we reach out as we can to those in need. Most importantly, may we continue to give God all glory and honor as we bring our prayers to Him.
Almighty God, I praise your Holy name. As I face this climate of fear may I bring into it hope found in Your son Jesus. May I remain faithful to my belief and see the good. I see people helping people however they can. Food still being delivered to others, calls being made, prayers being shared. Lord, may my fear keep me vigilant to the dangers but let it not Lord, consume me. Keep me Lord focused on the good for I know the day will come when the good and bad will be separated for all to see. May my faith remain strong. Lord, I pray for our medical professionals, first responders, social workers, politicians and now our military. I pray for their safety as they combat this virus, I pray for your peace and wisdom to lead them. Father, I pray this in Your Son's Holy name. Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006