Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘parables’

Why Forgive?


It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Easy for them to say
But they weren’t the one who was wronged
Advice is cheap today

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It’s easy for someone to tell you to forgive
Blood’s not on their hands
The ones who performed murderous acts
There: Forgiveness demands

In today’s sermon at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana, our pastor, Steve Hundley, preached on the scripture found in Matthew 21:33-46. He acknowledged that it is a hard lesson to make sense of. The vineyard owner sent workers to harvest the grapes, and the tenants of the vineyard killed the workers.

The owner sent more workers and the tenants killed them, too.

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So the vineyard owner sent his son. Surely the tenants would respect the owner’s son! But, no… they killed him, too!

What are we to make of this story?

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In the midst of such horrendous acts, the bottom line is love. Love the murderers? Love the tenants who killed the people who came to harvest? Love the tenants who killed the owner’s son?

Realize that this parable is about God, the owner of all we have. It’s about the fact that we live in a world under the shadow of the “American Dream; Ownership.”

Maybe the message is “Nobody likes an absent landlord!” The tenants are the ones who worked hard to maintain that vineyard. Then, at harvest time, the owner expects to send others to reap the benefit of their hard work? No, the tenants hated the idea of others coming to reap the harvest!

When the son was sent… the parable is asking us to see that this was the Son, Jesus. He, too was killed. Killed by those who feared this Messiah was going to take what they thought they owned… the kingship, the ownership of the land and its people.

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God did not create us to take ownership of God’s resources. We are the stewards, the caretakers. God’s vineyard is not for sale. We were not even given a lease with an option to buy!

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The parable doesn’t tell us what the owner did to the tenants. It doesn’t say He finally left his mansion and went down and got even with the tenants somehow… what might the retribution look like?

It doesn’t tell us He forgave them for their murderous acts. We are left to finish the story ourselves. How would you finish it?

What is your idea of ownership? What is your understanding of our Owner’s Love? Pastor Steve reminded us that Our Owner longs for a connection with us. “God desires a relationship with us… He asks that we take care of this earth – His gifts to us – and one another… and that we give a portion back.” He asks that we love one another. He asks us to forgive one another – and to love our enemies. Wow! That’s a tall order!!

Pastor Steve concluded his sermon today by reminding us:
“Our gifts are not our own.
They are God’s,
and we are given them
to use for God’s Kingdom.
We are the caretakers.
God’s love
always trumps
God’s justice.

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I love you, dear WordPress friends.
Thank you for visiting today.
I hope you’ve had a Love-filled Sunday.
Hugs,
JanBeek

We’re All Good AND Bad


We all are human
So we all are imperfect
Good and bad combined

Today’s sermon drummed home that point to us. Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church here in Ennis, Montana, used this scripture to springboard into the message for today:

Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43
The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

You know I like to take poetic notes as I listen to the sermon each Sunday. Here are my notes, taken during today’s message:

The Message – “So What About the Weeds?”

Gardens are lot of trouble.
The weeds grow more than flowers.
The weeds choke out vegetables.
Why do weeds have such powers?

Jesus says the garden is the world,
And in it the devil plants seeds.
His are never flowers or veggies;
They are nothing but nasty weeds,

There has always been – and always will be –
Weeds – the stuff planted by sin.
Weeds, tares, or wild rye
Looks like wheat and mixes in.

The wild rye is actually poisonous,
But we can’t tell one from the other.
Just like us – who try to judge
The authenticity of our sisters and brothers.

Our “weed pulling” – ridding us of enemies –
Is a job some think is ours.
We try to separate the good from the bad,
As if calling out evil is in our powers.

Trouble is we each have wheat and weeds.
We’re all a part evil and a part good.
Who is capable of separating the weeds?
It’s not our job. Leave ’em. We should!

Sometimes trying to eliminate sin
Is a process that has reverse effects.
We inadvertently pull of the flowers,
Those beautiful people our Lord protects.

Too much weeding can rob people
Of the right to hear the Gospel and read
The Words Jesus spoke to us all: “Do not judge.”
Risk the weeds as you plant Good seeds.

Amen?
Amen!

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Have a beautiful Sunday evening…
Enjoy your garden (it’s another form of creative art… yes, Derrick!)

See ya tomorrow.
Bee well!
And let’s all strive to bee more good than bad!
Hah!

Love to you.
JanBeek

The Seed and the Sower


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It’s Sunday. It’s a day we set aside to worship God and listen to His Word. As I listened to Rev. Steve Hundley deliver his sermon today, I did my usual. I recorded on my bulletin what my ears took in poetically.

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Here are my notes:

People flocked to Jesus.
He began to preach from a boat.
He had to distance from the crowd
So he drifted out a bit to float.

Distanced from the multitudes,
Jesus told the Parable of the Seed.
The Seed is the Word of God,
Spoken to the people in need.

Jesus warned that the Word
Often falls on deaf ear.
He explained that not all seeds
Grow in all who hear.

But those who allow the seed to grow,
Spend time to allow the seed to sink in,
Let it bury itself in their hearts,
Can bear fruit and juice they drink in.

The seed of the Word is like
A Smoothie blended into thought and deed.
Let the Word transform you
And grow to the Faith we all need.

But we may carry a ball & chain of doubt
That keeps us from letting go
Of the seeds that need to be planted
In Good Soil so they can grow,

Don’t hoard the Seeds of plenty
That God has blessed in you.
Sow them, grow them, harvest
And blend them to a Smoothie. Do!

Every seed carries in its bosom the future.
Trust God to make the seeds grow.
Be the sower who trusts the Maker
To find Good Soil wherever you go.

Amen

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The Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Matthew 13:18“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”


The phenomenal garden of Jackie and derrickjknight

Have a Super Sunday,
Dear WordPress friends,
Bee well
Bee safe
See ya tomorrow
Love,
JanBeek

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