Saturday, November 1, 2014

Seeds of Righteousness

• All Saints' Sunday
on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
in which Jesus speaks a parable about Weeds in the Wheat.  @FirstUMCBville  @kerrfunk

There was an artist sketching a transient on the street. 
The transient was dressed in rags, unshaven and unkempt, 
but the artist drew the man clean and shaven and well dressed. 
The artist beckoned the transient over to see her handiwork. 
The transient began to think, “If SHE can see me that way, 
by golly I can see me that way.”
She planted a seed of hope and renewal, and it blossomed in him.

One time I planted birdseed, and it grew into a bird. 
I didn't know what to feed it.

I did a wedding last weekend. In my wedding message 
I imagined the couple in ten years and in forty years, 
with careers and family and each other. 
I planted the seed for celebrating their 40th anniversary. 
And I hope it grows.

Weekend before that I did a funeral. 
As in every funeral, I “celebrate [the deceased's] righteous acts” 
and I plant seeds among the hearers for them to live well.

Jesus explains this parable of the Wheat and the Weeds, 
and these are some gleanings:
- There is evil in the world.
- God desires a harvest of righteousness. And God will triumph.
- God is growing righteousness in your life,
     and in the lives of people around you
     and MAY USE YOU to plant and nurture in the lives of others.
- Therefore do what you can to produce harvest of righteousness
God HAS USED others for generations to produce righteousness 
in you, to grow you.

Today is All Saints' Sunday. Let us remember those who have gone before us...
For those / who walked with us / this is a prayer.
For those / who have gone ahead, / this is a blessing.
For those / who touched and tended us, / who lingered with us 
/ while they lived, / this is a thanksgiving.
For those / who journey still with us / in the shadows of awareness,
in the crevices of memory, / in the landscape of our dreams,
this is a benediction. - by Jan Richardson

We remember, and we look forward to seeing again in the kingdom:
Pete P.        Melba M.    Dolly L.    June M.
Johnnie C.  Jenny S.     Mike W.

And thank God that Jesus was planted among humanity
to sow righteousness and to grow us... 
(into Communion liturgy, p. 13)

Matthew 13:24-30 CEB
24 Jesus told them another parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. 25 While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away.
26 When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field?
Then how is it that it has weeds?’
28 “‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered.
The servants said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’
29 “But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. 30  Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.” ’”

Matthew 13:36-43 CEB
36 Jesus left the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples came to him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 Jesus replied, “The one who plants the good seed is the Human One, the Son of Man. 38  The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kingdom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. 39  The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. 40  Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. 41  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. 42  He will throw them into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. 43  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Those who have ears should hear.”

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