DayBreaks for 07/21/11 – Our Task
For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12:14
One of the most perplexing (and troubling) parables of all is that of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13. You may recall it: how the wheat grows up and in the middle of the wheat are tares – plants that when they start out look very much like wheat, but which only later is their true nature – that of weeds – is obvious. There is discussion about whether or not the tares should be pulled up. Jesus gives a surprising answer: “No, just leave the tares there. They’ll get sorted out at harvest time.”
Eugene Winkler, in The Ohio Two-Car Collision Theory, wrote the following in a reflection on this parable:
“A biographer of the Duke of Windsor, Alistair Cooke, remarks, “The Duke was at his best when the going was good.” Aren’t we all? Is that true of your faith? We believe in God when things are going well, but give us a few problems, a disappointment or two, and we begin to doubt.
“But the parable is saying to us: God is in charge of the harvest, hang in there, because things will work out in God’s way and in God’s time. Our faith cannot depend just on the good times and good health.
“It just may be that our theology is like that of Woody Allen, who accuses God of being an underachiever. He writes, “I would believe, if only God would give me a clear sign — like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.”
”Jesus says that the signs are not always clear, especially in the beginning. It is finally not for us to determine God’s will. It is, however, our task to do the right thing as we know it — given our limited perceptions. Jesus himself is the Good News: even the agony of the deception, denial and betrayal of some of his best friends, the wondering if God had forsaken him, and the humiliation of the cross did not keep him from saying finally, “Unto thee I commit my life.”
We may want – even itch – at times to rip up a few “weeds” (people) who we suspect have done us wrong. But this parable says not to do it. That’s God’s job. He will tend to it in judgment. He will recognize every would-be “wheat” for what it truly is…and he will never make a mistake in judgment. There will be no tares that sneak their way through the pearly gates. God will rectify all.
So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. – Matthew 13:40-43
PRAYER: We are quick to judge ourselves as wheat, Lord, when there are still tares in our lives, too. Let us bear fruit of righteousness and godliness so that we will not be disappointed! Help us bear patiently with the tares that hinder the harvest of the Kingdom, knowing that it is Your job to sort through all the hidden and unseen things of the heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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