This pastoral passage was written for LRBC for October 7 2018.
In the third scenario of Jesus’ parable, there is seed that falls on soil that is dominated by weeds. The seed sprouts and grows, but is never able to be fruitful, for the weeds ‘choked’ them (Matt. 13:7). This seed represents the person who hears and accepts the word, but their choices and direction in life are determined not by the word, but by the ‘cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches’ and ‘the pleasures of life’ (Matt. 13:22; Luke 8:14).
Consider what this kind of person actually looks like. They have a kind of faith, for they accept the tenets of Christianity. Their life is going as well as anyone else’s. Yet the faith they hold doesn’t really cost them anything. Certainly not their convenience. When life gets busy or there are more exciting things going on, things like being at church or reading scripture or praying or other ‘means of grace’ are quickly dropped. They still consider themselves on the Christian “team”, but their claim is backed up by little action. Their profession of faith in Jesus is fruitless because they care more about other things.
What are the things we could consider ‘weeds’ that restrict the potential fruitfulness of our own faith? It is said that achievement and acquisition are the twin ambitions for middle-class people. With a bit of hard work and a mindset to persevere at our goals, the stuff we want to have and to accomplish are within our reach. They aren’t bad things, and we are applauded for gaining them. But do they foster the fruitfulness worthy of the word we have believed?
You wouldn’t think it a good idea to allow your vege garden to be overgrown by weeds. It is only because of laziness or busyness that we let that happen!
Surely we can value Jesus more than we value a few beefsteak tomatoes?
Spot your weeds, and pull them out.