Thoughts from the Vicarage 26th July, Trinity 6
Romans 8:26-end, Matt 13:31-33,44-52
Last week we looked at a parable about weeds and wheat, being growing together, and how the landowner didn’t want the weeds to be pulled up in case some of the wheat was lost. And it is a picture of the world that we live in, amongst those who it says are ‘sons of the enemy’. Hopefully we class ourselves as wheat, but we often feel like the weeds don’t we? We feel that we don’t live up to what is expected of us as Jesus’ disciples. As hard as we try we seem to mess up, we don’t think that we have a lot to offer.
The passage from Romans gives us some encouraging words to hold on to for times of just such doubt. Despite the turmoil in the world, the sin that seems to be trying to overcome God’s plans for creation, there is hope. As people filled with the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, we can know the that God knows our deepest concerns as the Spirit interceded for us. Paul writes that he is convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God, neither death nor life, angels or demons, the present or the future, no powers, no height or depth or anything in all of creation! Words to really hold on to.
Jesus’ parables of the mustard seed and yeast are there to encourage us and help us realise that the smallest of things can have an extraordinary effect. What may seem to be an everyday, insignificant act could be an act of welcome into the kingdom of God for someone. A friendly face, a smile, a chat, a listening ear, a world of encouragement, an offer to pray, a non-judgmental conversation, all help to overcome people’s apprehensions about ‘those Christians!’ From small beginnings there is potential for growth, and like the yeast there are times when we are called to ‘disturb’ a situation that may have become too settled.
The parables about the treasure and the pearl seem to be about a desire to gain something precious, to own something much more valuable than what we already have. Its not a treasure that is needed to bring wealth, but something that brings enrichment. Such is the kingdom of God.
Like fishermen we gather things that are good and bad in our lives, and it takes discernment to be able to get rid of the bad. To be part of God’s kingdom we must begin to get rid of all that is destructive or against the kingdom, and sometimes that means starting with ourselves. What negative views do we have of ourselves that might be destructive? How do you think God sees you?
Because nothing can separate us from the love of God, let our lives be transformed. Amen
Rev Sue Sidebottom
Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.