Monday, July 11, 2011

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Pentecost + 5 - Year A

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Again with the explanations! For the crowd that loves explanations - particularly explanations that can be used as a weapon against particular personal identities, who sowed Adam into an early garden? Somehow, while Adam was asleep, a weed grew - Eve. See how easy it becomes to blame women, the weeds of the world.

I’m intrigued with the image of an “enemy” that does the dastardly deed of sowing weeds among the wheat in the dark of night and slips silently away. Every identity issue comes with this same sort of “enemy” that can never quite be identified, but is always on the other side (for G*D is always on our side).

As you look back over a variety of identity politics such as class, race, gender, orientation, aliens, ... pay attention to the shifting excuses that are used to keep the weedy other in their place. More closely identifying this guerilla enemy would more easily help us see that we are talking about ourselves and not another.

The presence of G*D is clarified a bit when we intend to sow good seed and find there are unintended consequences that arise alongside. It is not a matter of some decision to allow the two to grow together, there is no option. This seems to be built into a universe, even one where we attempt to give G*D all the power and wisdom and goodness that is available. From James Weldon Johnson’s poem “Creation”, after G*D has created all the fiddley bits, we hear:
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down —
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

. . .

This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in his own image....

And still a self-image is as shadowy as an undefined enemy. And still G*D is on the side of our best intentions and some enemy must be involved with the blowback from our intended best (however it might be disguised from ourselves).

There seems to be no out here regarding explaining or not. Should we risk not going to an explanation, simply leaving it with a parabolic image, the dangers of being misunderstood or leaving folks confused, open to distilling an unhelpful response, will rise up and cannot be avoided by trying to come up with a univalent explanation. Should we risk giving the latest excuse in a long series for how we are going to cut this Gordian Knot, we will find, like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, that an impending flood has only been sped up.

Blessings on “Let It Be” and not being able to “Let It Be”. You’ve paid your entrance fee, might as well take your chance.

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