Today’s parable of the wheat and the darnel (weeds) from Matthew 13:24-30 speaks of the struggle between good and evil. There are powerful forces at work within us and within our world. Forces working against the Good News Christ came to teach us. The kingdom of God is present but also seems so far off. God is acting but why doesn’t he act more decisively? Why don’t we see more progress? When we engage with news reports, it does seem that evil has the upper hand in our world. Of course, we need to look far broader than the news media to see that things are not all doom and gloom.
However, the parable reveals something of the way God works in our lives and in our world. Like the farmer in the story, God is patient, prepared to tolerate evil along with the good, until the time of the harvest has come. But the time will come and the good (the kingdom) will win through. That is the hope of the Christian message.
In our own case, how often have we learnt from our mistakes? How often have we grown because of adversity? New wisdom is gained from experience, even the most painful and things we regret. As parents and teachers how important but scary too to give young people space to test their wings. How important it is to be patient, keep doors open and continue to love even if decisions and choices made are not the decision or choices we would make. God understands that our journey of faith is one that involves climbing a mountain, one step forward and often two steps back. God knows that it is better to give grace time to work in subtle ways. Then what has been wounded and hindered by evil will not be crushed but rescued and transformed for life. It is far better to come to our senses rather than have someone force it upon us.
We are not perfect, the Church is not perfect, the world is not perfect. Evil must be addressed and we must strive to become wheat rather than weeds, but the existence of evil, even in the holiest of places and our Church has certainly had its fair share of scandals, is not a cause for disillusionment and the abandoning of hope. The kingdom of God’s mercy, love and grace is not fully realised – human evil delays its coming. However, dealing with that evil requires patience and hope- it requires us to stick close to our ever-patient God.
Our song this week is ‘Love is Prepared’ from the album ‘‘Making Music to Your Name.’