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Growing Together

Today when I was pruning back some ivy and tidying up around our front entrance, I looked and realized that the 7 trees I planted 20 years ago are now fully grown. They all need some pruning every year. I remember at least 2 trees that died; cause unknown by me.

My ideal landscape is for all the trees, bushes, ground coverings, succulents, and flowers to stay in the places I planted them. Ideally, there wouldn’t be any dead leaves that have fallen and blown over to my place. And with all the effort that I give year after year weeding sprouts that I didn’t plant, there is always new ones in the spring. This year there were more holly saplings than in the past. I guess the birds did some planting.

When I retired from full-time paid ministry 3 years ago, I wondered how I would spend my days. What would replace my weekly local church tasks and my denominational travels? I’m happy to have small parcels of God’s earth to tend.

I thought about Jesus’ parable about the “Weeds Among the Wheat” found in Matthew 13:24-30. A farmer planted good wheat seeds but someone came at night and sowed weeds. When the wheat came up so did the weeds. The workers wanted to pull the weeds but the farmer told them that if they weeded, they would also uproot the wheat. The farmer told his workers to let both the weeds and wheat grow together until the harvest. After the harvest, they can separate the weeds from the wheat.

Jesus’ parable was about the kingdom of heaven. In God’s time, there would be a time of judgment but in the meantime while we are living on earth, we are to grow together. When there are differences, it is that much more necessary for us to be together and grow together. We all know that a weed is any plant that we didn’t plant or we didn’t want to be there. A weed is a plant that I didn’t purchase from the nursery. But a weed is still a flower to someone.

Read Related Sermon  Genuine Prayer

It’s not for me to decide which plant is a weed or wheat. In God’s eyes, all living things are God’s creation. We are called to grow together and when it’s God’s time, the kingdom of heaven will come.

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