Sometimes, small words make all the difference! In Sunday’s gospel, the parable of the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43), there are two small words to which I pray the Spirit enables me to cling!
As wispy wheat in a weedy world, I’m tempted to daily discouragement by the evil surrounding me. The enemy has done a damningly thorough job in sowing his weeds, his unbelievers, into this field. The pressure is intense to give up and give in. What makes it worse is how much the evil of the devil’s weeds resonates with what originates in my own heart! Does a spindly stalk like me stand a chance!
Then to my rescue come two little words. “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field” (24). How comforting is that little word his! This world did not cease being my God’s property when Satan tilled the Garden’s soil! The ordination day words of the Seraphim thundered to a trembling sinful prophet being sent to a wayward rebellious people still stand true: “The whole earth is full of [God’s] glory!” (Isaiah 6:3) From the First Article glory of he who wondrously created and still wonderfully preserves his world to the Second and Third Article glory of he who bled for his entire fallen world and whose Spirit floods his world with the gentle whisper of his gospel, this marred world is still full of his glory. It is his world twice over: wondrously created and more wondrously redeemed. In that world that is still his all his delight is in us (Psalm 16:3), his wheat!
As if that wasn’t enough, a second little word rushes to our aid. “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn” (30). The first little word rekindles faith. The second revives hope. The day is coming when it will be clear how eternally foolish it is to give up and give in to the enemy! For the weeds God will prove himself to be an eternally consuming fire. But waiting for us, the wheat, is “my barn,” our Father’s home. There we “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of [our] Father” (43). What we already are in his grace in his world is glorious though our senses often cannot perceive it. “But just wait,” exhorts our Father, “until how glorious you will appear when you are safely gathered into my barn!”
Mark the beauty of those two little words his and my. Despite the evil we see externally and internally, one marks us as under the watchful eye of his present preservation! The other heralds the eternal plan of his final consummation. “He who has ears, let him hear” (43)!