A recent reflection by a colleague turned my attention to Matthew 13:24-30. I was grateful for the reminder of this wonderfully thought-provoking parable because it captures much of how I’ve been perceiving and experiencing the world.
The parable of the weeds and the wheat tells of someone who sowed good seed in their field. However, an “enemy” comes when no one was looking to sow weeds in that same field. As the plants grow, the weeds also begin to appear. The workers in the field ask if they should take out the weeds, but the owner replies: “’No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them’”. They are instructed to let both grow together and separate them at the harvest.
One can imagine the frustration of the owner of the field and the workers striving to make the wheat grow. One can also hear the wisdom of the landowner that allows the weeds to continue so that the wheat is not uprooted and has a chance. The situation is not ideal. Wheat and weeds mixed together. What a mess! And yet, the owner exudes a confidence that the wheat will grow. The wheat will make it. The work will be completed, if not now, at the harvest.
I am holding at least one truth and hope of this parable close today: Although the work of God’s reign is messy business, hope for its fruition remains.