Shine Like the Sun

Read Matthew 13:36-43

Are there conversations that are only appropriate inside the house and behind closed doors, rather than in the midst of a crowd?

Most of us would say yes.  Even the most open and honest person would admit that sometimes there are things that must be said that are not for public consumption at least at first for fear that such a conversation would scare people, or offend, or even hurt someone's feelings with misunderstandings and lack of context.  Maybe the reason such things must be said at all is in answer to a tough question or to understand further before making something public?  You know what I mean.  You have had those conversations too.

Jesus is asked by the disciples to explain the parable of the weeds of the field.  It's a parable about judgment and evil and God's love over against that evil.  It's a prophetic message offered by Jesus away from the crowds to those in the community who understand lots of other things about God already.  Without the knowledge of God's love and the grace that is offered through the Kingdom of God and God's people, it is a message that sounds like God gets mad at those people for those things and casts them into the fires of hell.  It can sound arbitrary and unfair if not in context as if God likes the good people and hates the bad people.  This is what those that don't share our belief sometimes say about God.  God is angry and harsh and can't wait to send those having fun into hell.

Those of us that have "ears to hear" and know lots of other things about God already know that's not the message of the steadfast love of God who desires that the world be delivered into the end times purified and cleansed from all that afflicts and all that divides.  It's a message of hope that God will fix all things and will deliver the world into the way it was always supposed to be.  God does not pick sides, and like certain people more.  Instead, God loves all and chooses to do the hard things to deal with the evil that oppresses all people.  God gave everything to deal with evil.

Perhaps like the disciples, we must make sure we understand what we believe before we make such conversations public.  Lots of harm sometimes gets done by the Christian community when we try and explain judgment and evil and God's love over against that evil.  We communicate to the crowd something that maybe should have been discussed among the disciples first.

So we can tell the world what we know... In the Kingdom of God, goodness will shine like the sun!


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