Tuesday, October 10, 2017

2017-10-10 [Month of Mission 2017] Kingdom Parable#2 -- Wheat and Tares

Kingdom Parable#2 -- Wheat and Tares

Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 28 " 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 29 " 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "      (Matthew13:24-30 )
One of the strategic guidelines adopted by the UPCSA is as follows: The UPCSA will have mission oriented and holistically developed ministry. Ideally, people that are involved in mission and discipleship should be able to read, construe and interpret the signs of time. They should be conscious of the workings of God and detect the machinations of the enemy.

The servants of the owner of the field had been so well 'discipled' (disciplined), trained and developed to identify and analyse the plants. They knew very well the seed that the owner had sowed and the plants that should germinate from that seed. They were very sure that the owner had sowed the correct seed. They vigilantly and diligently observed the germination. To their amazement, they noticed that there were plants that were not of the seed of their owner.

The owner, knowing the competitors, reckoned that it was someone with sinister motives that planted the weeds. The enemy wanted to frustrate the owner, as the wheat could not give the expected product when choked by the weeds. The enemy had come when everyone was asleep. People of God -- wake up! In our slumber, the empire is at work, sowing seeds of blind subservience and loyalty, seeds of complacency, individualism, materialism, division, inequality, mistrust, pride, ignorance and arrogance, etc. We see hate and love, commendation and condemnation, growth and stagnation, cooperation and contradiction, efforts of unity and forces of division, etc., all thriving alongside each other. While we rest from the true worship of God, the enemy finds time to advance his machinations. People of God -- wake up!

The owner assured his servants that his seed would grow and produce despite the attempts of the enemy. The owner believed in grace - that by and through grace, the wheat that is to be food for so many could not be choked by that which could not help anybody. At a right time, the weeds would be gathered and burned.

The UPCSA must be able to differentiate between the wheat and the weed. The church members must identify the forces that stifle their growth as individual Christians and as a reconciled community. That ability to identify is a step towards the right direction -- liberation of the individual and liberation of the community from the snares of the empire. The grace of God is sufficient to help us realise our liberation without the permission of the enemy. Sola gratia. Shalom.
Lungile Mpetsheni is the minister of word and sacrament, the General Secretary of the UPCSA and a proud family man. Thandiswa is my wife.

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