Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sermon: Pentecost 10 - Year A

My wife is the gardener in our house. I actually hate gardening. I don’t enjoy getting my knees and elbows dirty digging around in the luxuriant soil of our backyard. My thumb has more black ink from a good book on it than green chlorophyll from picking beans.

The worst part is pulling weeds. My right hand blistered from yanking out dandelions and my back stiffened from too many hours with a shovel, digging out the unrestrained thistles that threatened to conquer our side yard.

But my wife LIVES for growing plants. We have a whole shelf devoted to gardening books. Books on proper prairie planting, when to plant, how to plant, what to plant. Which plants need lots of water and which need lots of sun. What plants should grow next to which others and which one can’t be in the same city block. Books on how to compost, what mulch is used for, how to maximize efficiency in garden use.

It’s a lot of work just thinking about it. But every October when our freezer is packed with vegetables and fruit from the backyard, I’m glad Rebekah has thought it through so thoroughly. And put me to work despite my griping about weeding.

I’m thinking that, for you gardeners, today’s gospel must make you want to tear up your Tilley Endurables in protest. After all, weeding is as vital to a fruitful harvest as 35 grams of fibre is to a healthy diet.

But the farmer in Jesus’ story tells his workers to leave the weeds alone in case wheat gets pulled out in an over-zealous plantain purge.

And I guessing that people shifted in their seats the first time they heard Jesus tell this story. He may be a fine preacher; he could hold a crowd with the best of them. But maybe it’s best if we keep him out of the garden.

But then again, they probably knew that Jesus was trying to get a reaction from them. But they probably still had a nagging question about this crazy story:

What is this parable REALLY about?

Maybe it’s a story about...(whole thing here)

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