a valueless plant growing wild, especially one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
Weeds are not desirable. While it can be argued that some 'weeds' are pretty (as many kids love Dandelions) the definition of a weed is that it harms the development of and yield at harvest time. Simply put weeds harm good plants. There are a few places in scripture that Jesus talks about weeds. Last week we heard about some seeds that landing among weeds and the weeds "choked them out", this week we hear about weeds growing among the wheat and what to do (or not do) about it.
What to do with weeds:
- Identify the weed. Sometimes this is easy if it is particularly obnoxious (it stands out) or the weed is part of a jungle of weeds-so plentiful that it is hard to even see the non-weeds. Before one can deal with the weeds, the weed must be seen.
- Kill the weed. There are many options of how to kill it, ignoring the weed never works. It is best to pull the entire plant and roots from where it is growing, and making sure that no weed seeds fall to the ground in the process--burn the weed entirely.
- Kill the weed. Don't prune it back, don't just make it look nice by clipping just the visible portion of the weed. Kill the roots.
- Kill the weed. Weed killer may work but it can harm the non-weed (after all it is killing something, salting the ground may work but that harms the soil, ripping it out of the ground may also damage non-weeds. If you don't shake the soil from the weeds, there is less fertile ground to give non-weeds to grow.
- Kill the weed. Remember if the weeds aren't dealt with, more and more damage will be done.
But since Jesus wasn't teaching his disciples agricultural practices but rather in parable (which teaches about heavenly things) Jesus instruction list for Church Weeds looks different.
What to do with Church Weeds:
- Don't kill the weeds. In destroying the weeds you may harm the grain which is the children of God. The workers in the parable want to help be weed killers, but they are instructed to do nothing.
- Don't Kill the weed. It is not our job to identify the weeds, nor to implement a cost-benefit analysis to see if it would be OK to harm a few grains while trying to destroy a weed. It is not our job to judge the weeds and grain but it is God's alone.
- Don't kill the weeds. Elsewhere Jesus tells us "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few, therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the harvest". We are called to work IN the harvest, but the harvest is God's.
- Don't kill the weeds. As the early church was being persecuted, Saul was no doubt seen as a big and dangerous weed. Saul was going about persecuting believers of a resurrected Jesus. If Saul was dealt with by early Christians as a weed--- there would have not been a conversion on the road to Damascus-there would not have been Paul's instruction and part of the rapid expansion of the faith in Jesus.
- Celebrate the harvest: One can easily lament about the presence of weeds, so much so that one forgets about the harvest that is present.
The above is not an extensive DO/DO NOT list, but to help us begin to think about Jesus instruction in the parable about weeds and wheat. It continues Sunday morning @ 9:30 and Monday Chapel 7pm.