Our story is about weeds found in the garden of God. Religious faith always has existed with the tendency to throw people out of the garden of God. We seem almost embarrassed to allow people into our “paradise.” How odd of us religious types.
To start our mental engagement with the story, let me offer you a few testimonials from poetry and Scripture.
To paraphrase Robert Frost: “Before I PULLED A WEED from God’s garden, I’d ask to know if what I was pulling was a weed or not, and if in pulling the weed I would damage the wheat. Something there is that doesn’t love a weed, that wants it up and gone, but before I pulled a weed from God’s garden, I’d ask, “Lord do you want us to pull the weeds?”
From Gerhard Manley Hopkins, whom we should read and quote at every opportunity: “What would the world be, once bereft Of wet and wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet, Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people: “So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”
And most important of all, what does Jesus say? Of all things, Jesus says, “Leave the weeds alone.”
These are words that have been thrown into the teeth of a wicked tendency of the Church – the weed pulling tendency. What will it take for the churches to abandon the obsession with pulling weeds from the garden of God?