1. Christians have a destiny
Most of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we are supposed to be doing. The Parable of the Weeds reminds us of an obvious but important truth. Seeds grow into what they are intended to grow into. If you plant wheat, wheat is what you get. Last Sunday, in the Parable of the Sower, we were reminded how fragile and vulnerable this process is. The idea of an enemy was introduced as one of the many ways in which the seed of the Word of God in the Bible can be lost or prevented from growing. The Readings for today help us understand our destiny and the challenges we face on the way to that destiny. In Genesis (28.10-19) we are reminded that we are not alone. We follow in the tradition of Jacob who had an encounter with God. He was told that he had one God and that that God would protect him and bless him with land and children. His destiny was to live under the spiritual protection and blessings of the Covenant with Abraham. Our destiny is the same except we are also promised forgiveness, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and eternal spiritual life if we live out our Covenant. In the Romans (8.28) Reading, the Apostle Paul refers to this as "the redemption of our bodies". The seed does not remain a seed. It dies and gives birth to something much greater. It has a destiny and that destiny is to become a child of God. The Good News is that as a child of God, we will inherit what the Father has - eternal spiritual life with God.
2. Christians have an enemy
3. Christians have a helper
The Good News is that we are not alone in this struggle with deception and temptation. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us and strengthen us. The Apostle Paul puts it very clearly. "… if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live." (Romans 8.13) It is that little word "if" that should wake us up. Eternal spiritual life is not automatic for all the Baptized. There is a condition. That condition is that we work with the Holy Spirit to root out our 'misdeeds' - the specific instances in which we have rebelled against God in thought, word and deed. This is a life-long project. The Good News is that we have a helper who will guide us. The Holy Spirit opens our personal spiritual eyes so that we can see things we never saw before. This helps us identify specific things we may need to repent. Each time we repent some act of rebellion against God we die emotionally to it's power over us. This makes us stronger and more able to resist the temptation next time. This is how we work with the Holy Spirit to redeem our bodies and ensure we reach our destiny as Christians.