July 18, 2020

Spiritual Life In The weed Patch (Proper 16)

In the Parable of the Weeds Jesus is giving us a critical teaching on how to develop a spiritual life in the face of evil. Our natural tendency is to fight with the weeds. Jesus says:

·      Do not try to root out evil

·      Be led by the Holy Spirit

·      Endure suffering as an offering to God


1. Do not try to root out the evil

This has been a hard week for me. I have spent much of the past week pulling an infestation of weeds out of my garden. I am also the child of a brilliant critic and naturally drawn into criticizing our political and religious leaders (who have mostly failed us badly in these end times). But Jesus is not talking about our biological survival:

·      Jesus is teaching us the new way into His Kingdom

·      Jesus is talking about developing a holy spiritual life alongside others who have chosen a different path

·      God has given them free will to chose this direction

·      We must respect the choices of others

·      Works both ways – we must protect our freedom

·      We can proclaim the good news of Jesus by sharing our experiences in love without judgement

·       Rooting out evil forcefully leads to emotional and spiritual engagement – and the pollution of our Spirit


2. Be led by the Holy Spirit

Serious Christians are a small minority now. We must depend on the protection, wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. The reason we are in the weed patch is to learn to depend on the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit will help us developing a deeper spiritual life in-Jesus. We can do this by:

·      Immersing ourselves in a daily practice of Bible reading and prayer

·      Praying on the whole armour of God

·      Participation in a church community that provides relevant emotional and spiritual support, orthodox teaching and experiences of outreach

·      Many people in our time have been spiritually damaged by dysfunctional churches and are having trouble finding a supportive Holy Spirit-led spiritual home

·      Holy Spirit will help us reach out to them and the weeds 


3. Endure suffering as an offering

As in my teaching on identity theft, many people have lost their self-identity as a sign of the glory of God. This is the key to dealing with the “weeds” around us. It is hard but we need to think of them not as the enemy to fight against; but as:

·      People who have lost their identity and assumed a false identity under the deception of the Evil one.

·      People wounded by false teachers and traumatic experiences in churches.

·      People who need a friend to come alongside them and gently help them discover forgiveness, healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ

·      Love can overcome fear, anger and hate

·      This is our mission, offering and heritage as beloved children of God

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