We continue our Pentecost series – “Walking with Jesus” – as together we make sense and meaning of his teachings for our lives. This Sunday, we explore the parable of the “Wheat and the Tares.”
╬ “Where’d all these weeds come from?”
Many of those who follow Jesus are peasants, many farmers and tenants. The symbolic elements in the parables he tells reflect this: stories about food, provision, harvest and abundance resonate strongly with hungry people. Jesus uses this wisdom to tailor his gospel to his hearers and speak to directly into their collective experience. What symbols and images might he use – and might we use – to communicate God’s truth in contemporary culture?
“Polka Sunday.” The Prayer of the Day and the Readings are below. Let’s enjoy the richness of these diverse worship styles that bring a change of pace to our summer Sundays!
- Pr. Brad Highum
PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------------
Lord, in the world you love wheat and weeds fill your fields. Help us to grow in your life-giving abundance. Give us the wisdom to know, the strength to resist and the patience to endure all that would seek to spoil your harvest. Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 44:6-8
6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. 7 Who is like me? Let them proclaim it, let them declare and set it forth before me. Who has announced from of old the things to come? Let them tell us what is yet to be. 8 Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses! IIs there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.
17 Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Second Reading: Romans 8:12-25
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30
24 He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?' 28 He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 29 But he replied, 'No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"