Saturday 19 July 2014

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost - Br Simeon

Andre-Rublev's Saviour

Homily preached by Br. Simeon at Winmalee on   Sunday 20th July 2014:


Gospel:  Mt 13:24-43.

"The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father"

Lord, Take me where you want me to go, Let me meet who you want me to meet,
Tell me what you want me to say, And keep me out of your way. Amen.

Friends, I must confess that this particular Gospel passage is not one of my favourite passages at all, but then the Gospels as a whole were never meant to be cosy and easy at all.

What can malicious weed-sowing tell us about the kingdom of God (Matthew 13:25)? The image Jesus uses in this parable is a common everyday example of planting, harvesting, and sorting the good fruit from the bad. Weeds can spoil and even kill a good harvest if they are not separated and destroyed at the proper time. Uprooting them too early, though, can destroy the good plants in the process.

Just as nature teaches us patience, so God's patience also teaches us to guard the seed of his "word" which he has planted in our hearts and to beware of the destructive force of sin and evil which can destroy it. God's word brings life, but Satan seeks to destroy the good seed which has been planted in the hearts of those who have heard God's word. God's judgement is not hasty, but it does come. And in the end, God will reward each according to what they have sown and reaped in this life. In that day God will separate the evil from the good.

What can mustard seeds and leaven teach us about the kingdom of God? The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God's kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within.
Leaven is another powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated - the staple of life for humans. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
Good and evil are sown in our hearts like tiny seeds which germinate, and in due time yield a harvest of good or bad fruit. Charles Read said: "Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny."

In the day of judgement each will reap what he or she has sown in this life. Those who sow good will shine in the kingdom of their Father. They will radiate with the beauty, joy, and fullness of God's love.
It is not very often that I leave challenges for us at the end of my sermons, but today I leave this with you as we leave this place; Do you allow God's word to take deep root in your heart?,  and in your actions?