Alan Akers

Hasn’t this been a wonderful autumn so far? Weren’t the rains we’ve received in these first two months very welcome and an absolute blessing? Haven’t the weeds really taken off?

My dictionary describes a weed as “a wild plant growing where it is not wanted”. If you’re a farmer or a gardener; or if you’re not really a gardener, but have some land around you, you’ll have had experience with weeds. (Why does that expensive plant you bought, take the first opportunity to die, while weeds just pop up, uninvited, and seem to thrive?)

Jesus knew a thing or two about weeds, and he used them to good effect in some of the stories he told.

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his 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 … other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.”  Mark 4:3-7

To this point in Jesus’ story, not a very satisfying result for the farmer’s efforts! And of course, this was a parable, with deeper implications than a farmer’s frustration. The disciples came to Jesus seeking an explanation. Hear his description of the nature and effects of ‘weeds’ in the lives of his followers: (Those) like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:18, 19

Note again the kind of weeds Jesus identifies:
• The worries of this life
• The deceitfulness of wealth
• The desires for other things

These weeds flourish just as effectively in our times as they did back when Jesus first told his story! Left unattended, they quickly steal our spiritual vitality and make us “unfruitful”.
Loris and I have been using some of the time enforced on us by social distancing to deal with the weeds popping up around us. Loris favours the hoe. I find the popular commercial weedicide to be effective. Our little goats do their bit. (Not in the garden! Goats love roses!)

Jesus ends his story on a positive note:
“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:20

Let’s deal with the ‘weeds’ and allow God’s good seed to produce its crop in us.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the good seed of your Word, sown deep in our hearts. Reveal to us the true nature of any weeds competing for your presence within us and threatening to choke your work in our hearts. Empower us to deal with them as they arise we pray. We long to be effective and fruitful in your Kingdom, and to this end, we pray for our community around us. Grow your fruit in our lives we pray and help us communicate your love to others. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN

SONG: Purify My Heart – Haebel Abraham https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IvXA0yRDwY