The Veteran in a New Field Winslow Homer MMA New York City
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out his kingdom all causes of sin… Matthew 13:41
Jesus has another parable in the gospel reading for Sunday, followed by an explanation. It’s a wheat field lesson about planting and weeding and reaping. Our lives are full of other kinds of planting and weeding. We try to plant good things in the lives of our children so that they will grow up with tools that allow them access to satisfying futures. Teachers plant ideas and knowledge in student’s minds. Coaches try to equip their players with perseverence and concentration by planting confidence in them.Planting, tending the field, harvesting the mature plants, images along these lines are heard throughout Christian theology and liturgy. For example, Jesus is the “planting” of God, set in the soil of human experience. When his life on earth was over, harvested wheat-turned-to-bread and the mature grape-turned-to-wine re-present him to his disciples. Or, in another example from the second lesson for tomorrow-Romans 8:19, the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God…The creation waits for the mature Christians to appear because they will “feed” the world with righteousness and ethical action. They will re-present Jesus the judge and the servant of all.Parables such as the ones in Matthew that we’re reading now are stories that engage us. They make us think, and may leave us scratching our heads. They’re not for everyone. Sometimes literalists and unreformed rationalists don’t like the images of parables, open as they are to interpretation. But tomorrow, as we hear another one, we’ll rest in the promise that the meaning it holds will be planted in us, perhaps to bear fruit by and by.
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