As in last week's talk, the farmer (sower) does not follow conventional practice. The servants want to pull out the weeds before they grow any more, but the farmer won’t let them in case they damage any of the wheat plants. In Barbara Brown Taylor’s words; “the farmer is willing to risk fat weeds for fat wheat”. What does this parable tell us about the ways we are a church and the ways we lead our lives?
The traditional reading of this parable is one which encourages us to put down deep roots, be resistant to the cares of the world and to ensure we are fertile soil to bear fruit for the Kingdom. This is sound advice, but this is the parable of the sower. Jesus is encouraging us to reflect on the extravagance of our Creator who sows the fertile seed of his truth with “holy abandon”. God loves to bless us abundantly without being stingy, cautious or judgmental.
What's your first response when you see something with a 'do not touch' sign on it? You want to touch it of course! In these verses from Romans, Paul is expressing a conflict we all face: why do we so often do the things we don't want to do, but can't do the things we want to do? Luckily for us, God has devised a rescue plan.
This week we delve into how Jesus’ death and resurrection have changed everything and how as Christians we become participants in that story. We have a new identity because of what Jesus has achieved, but we also have a responsibility to embody this identity; as verse 1 in our passage says: "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means!" If we have come through the waters of slavery and death into the freedom of Jesus’ resurrection, what might it mean for us to ‘walk in newness of life’?