Weed Control

8:04 AM

[An aside before I start this post re: my previous post. Yes, I knew they were going to get bigger. Babies do that. I didn't know they would grow 2-3 cup sizes in 3 months and that the maternity store clerk would make me feel like a circus freak. Anyway. On with the post.]

On Sunday, we had a really interesting discussion/sermon at church about a parable concerning the farmer who sows his field with good seed. In the night, an enemy comes and plants weeds. When the plants begin to grow, the weeds are mixed in with the wheat. The farmer tells his workers to leave the weeds and let the plants grow up together. When it is time to harvest, he will tell the reapers to separate the weeds from the wheat where the weeds will be burned and the wheat will be gathered into barns.

I don't really want to talk about the burning versus gathering into barns, because as far as I can tell, that's not my job. What we focused on in our discussion was the idea of weed control. Most of us...maybe all of us...in our personal and public lives...tend to focus on the weeds amongst the wheat. And when we see those weeds, we want to eradicate them as quickly as possible. But, the more I think about this parable, the more I think this isn't what God is calling us to do. God will separate the weeds from the wheat. Our job is to grow--and we can't grow if we're constantly worrying about separating the good from the bad or the right from the wrong.

Right now, many of the Bishops within the Anglican Communion are gathered at Kent University in England for the 2008 Lambeth Conference. (Official site is here. There are tons of blogs, newspaper articles, etc. providing coverage at different levels if you're interested.) My Bishop wasn't invited. He's in the area, anyway, meeting with folk who will meet with him (you can read about his experience at his blog, if you're interested), and doing what he can from the sidelines. Several other Bishops from around the world have also decided not to attend the conference because they consider themselves to be in impaired communion with the "liberal" Anglican church--particularly the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and with Canterbury.

The more I think about it, the more it all strikes me as weed control. And it makes me very sad. Should we all agree? Hell no. There will always be conservatives, liberals, evangelicals, etc. It's part of what makes the Communion interesting and diverse. It's good to have opposing viewpoints. It's not good that people feel these oppositions are so strong that we can no longer meet together. Am I biased? Yes. My Bishop, and by extension my Diocese, has been excluded from the table. My understanding of Jesus' teachings are not about exclusion but about inclusion...about welcome. We're talking about a guy who hung out with women, tax collectors, lepers, and other undesirables. Someone who questioned the teachings, rules, and regulations of his day. Someone who got in a lot of trouble.

But this is just my reading of the Bible. I suppose I'll find out if I'm wheat or weed at the end. Until then, all I can do is grow and do the best I can. And pray. For my Bishop, for the Bishops at Lambeth, for those who stayed home, and for the rest of us who live and work in an imperfect world.

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