Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Having recently moved into a new house, I was delighted to learn that we have a good sized front garden, and a lot of jungle grass at the back. The front garden captured my imagination and off I went to the local garden centres to give the front of the house a burst of colour. Roses, fuchsias, begonias and even some orange lilies (which have only just started to flower - a bit late for the Twelfth!). It was all looking well, so off we went on honeymoon.

Well, when we got back, what a change! Where before there was only the beautiful flowers, now there were small and big weeds of several varieties. Green everywhere, and not quite what we were after! The other evening I had to go out and do some weeding, removing the unwanted vegetation, to make room for the good flowers.

As I was working, the parable of the weeds came to mind (Matthew 13:24-30). A certain landowner has sown wheat, but then his enemy comes and sows weeds (tares, in some translations). They grow up together, but when the crop comes, it's clear that the two are inter-mixed. But rather than pulling out the weeds immediately, the landowner waits until harvest time. Then the servants will remove the weeds first and burn them in the furnace, before gathering in the good crop.

Jesus makes it clear that there is soon coming a time of weeding in the world. 'Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.' (Matthew 13:40-43).

The weeds in my garden were unwanted, because they spoil the garden. Similarly, the unrepentant will be removed from this world at the end of the age. What are you today - the weeds or the wheat?

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