July 20, 2017
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
for Sunday, July 23
Isaiah 44: 6-8
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
This Week's Reflection Comes from
Rev. Virginia Mazzarella
Ecumenical Partner serving
Zion, Cohocton and St. Paul's, Dansville
Weeding can be very satisfying. You spot the interloper in your garden or flower bed, you firmly grasp it, give a good tug and feel that delightful snap as the root gives way. And then you get to consign that miserable weed to its fate - perhaps withering away in a compost bin, or thrown in with an assorted lot of garbage. Either way, that weed is gone, no longer able to threaten the garden. Order is restored.
In our Gospel, Jesus tells a parable all about weeds, but in this instance it's not weeds that threaten a patch of gladiolas, or tomatoes, but rather those "weeds" that wreak havoc in our everyday life - those weeds called sin. In the parable a householder plants a field of wheat, and in the night an enemy comes and sows weeds among that wheat field. The servants of the householder want to do what seems the reasonable thing and root up those weeds. After all, they threaten the wheat. The householder however tells them to wait, and to let those weeds grow alongside the wheat. At the end of the harvest all will be gathered in, and then sorted out. The wheat safely gathered into the barn, and the weeds bound to be burned.
Jesus then unpacks this parable in a way that makes it relevant to every age, using the parable to explain the presence of evil in the world. Those "weeds", which represent that evil, are the work of the enemy, the devil. Jesus' teaching makes it clear that there is and will be evil in every age. That is the reality of our life and how well we know it. Jesus' teaching makes it clear, though that we are not the ones called to sort out those "weeds" from the wheat. With a lesson from botany we learn that wheat, and a common weed in Jesus day, were fairly indistinguishable until harvest time.
To rip up the weeds sewn among the wheat would risk pulling wheat along with those weeds. That would be unacceptable. Taking this image to our own day, we must ask how capable are we in discerning the sinfulness of another? Can we really tell? The answer is no, and the good news is that making that judgment is not ours to do. Even when we believe we are certain, we cannot truly be sure about the heart of another. And so we must co-exist, in a world where sin is a reality, trusting in God's impeccable ability to discern the human heart.
It is hard to leave the weeds among the wheat. It is hard not to want to judge others, and consign them to the weed bin. If we are truthful, we know that it can feel good to judge someone a sinner, and therefore our own selves as better than they. This parable serves as a strong reminder that it's not our job.
Ultimately we must say thanks be to God for that!
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24[Jesus] put before [the crowds] another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field;25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”
36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
***Scandinavian Folk Festival – beginning tomorrow Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23…if you are able to help at St. Timothy’s food booth, contact Kathy Carlson.
The food booth is a fundraiser for St. Timothy – show your support by stopping in to purchase a beef on weck sandwich and a soda!
***Hoops for Honduras 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament is tomorrow, Friday July 21 from 4-8pm and Saturday July 22 from 8am-6pm in Village Park in Bemus Point. Come and cheer on the players! Last chance to register a team: Contact Bob Gould at 716-386-2288 to register.
***Southwestern Conference Youth Ministries is hosting a day at Waldameer Park in Erie, Sunday, August 27. The park is open from 1pm - 10pm. Enjoy a discounted rate of $24.50 that includes unlimited rides and the waterpark. Discount is open to chaperones, drivers, and families too. Register with Ian Eastman at email@example.com or 716-720-8584 before August 6. Make checks payable to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 556 E 2nd St, Jamestown, NY 14701; put Waldameer in the memo line.
*** Stay connected with Pastor Ivy… parsonage: 386-1022; cell phone: 904-0855 (call or text); email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; mail: P. O. Box 43, Bemus Point, NY 14712.
The UCAN City Mission opened in April and is the only homeless shelter in Chautauqua County. We are located at 7 West 1st Street, Jamestown New York, the site of the former Union Gospel Mission. After 43 years of serving as Executive Director, Rev. Steinhauser retired and the board decided to dissolve the mission so the building sat empty for nearly eighteen months.
Would you consider partnering with us in our goal of assisting those who are homeless, returning from incarceration, and struggling with life controlling issues to become self sustaining in providing for their own housing and supporting their families?
Since April 1, 2017 we have had between 12 and 16 men staying with us each night and have served over 2,500 meals. We are providing classes on basic life skills, finances, as well as several support groups.
Since the former mission dissolved none of the past funding has continued. Our funding comes from generous individuals, churches, businesses, and foundations. Would you please consider partnering with us as we see lives transformed?
Please consider becoming a monthly donor or even a one time contributor. The link below will connect you to our online giving or can mail a contribution to us.
PO Box 202
Lakewood, NY 14750
We appreciate your consideration in this worthwhile partnership.
IOGD - Romans 12:2
We pray you are enjoying your summer. With summer comes our Annual Golf Marathon. We will be holding it at Cable Hollow Golf Course on August 19th with a 7am shotgun start. A $55 fee will get you a hotdog lunch and 36-holes of golf with a cart.
Each year Love INC sets out to raise the financial support needed to continue to help the poor and the under resourced which can include single moms, children of all ages, the elderly, battered and abused women and the physically challenged in our community. This event enables us to reach many people with the funds that are raised.
In addition, this year we are extending an invitation to our friends in the community to sponsor a hole. This will offer you an additional advertisement option along with social media, through the area churches and enable us to help more families. A $100 donation will provide you with a sign at one of the holes which will include your business/church name.
I thank you for your consideration to support Love INC and look forward to hearing back from you. Please let me know if we can include you in this very important event.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the number below.
Susan L. Justham
Love In the Name of Christ
Ed. note: Another option in particpating in the tournament is to secure sponsors with a goal of raising $1,000. See end of the E-Ministry for sponsor form or pick one up from the church narthex.
· For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.
· For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.
· For victims of violence and their families in all places
· For Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Zachary Stewart, Deacon Gregg Davis, Rita Evans, Roy Pihl, Faye Stebbins, Gloria Gardner, Bob & Audrey Markwart, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Matt Isaacson, and Thom Shagla.
· For people serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham, and their families, those caught up in persecution, violence and war.
· For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.