Keep in Touch: 19th July 2020

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19th July 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

How often we look at the parables of Jesus and see ourselves. That is, we see the selves that we want to be or wish we could be. In today's story of the wheat and the weeds in Matthew chapter 13, we see ourselves as the wheat. We focus on what we assume is the good characteristic and apply it to ourselves.

But our eyes deceive us. If you use a phone camera, you’ll know the problem well. Something looks great, so you snap away at it, but when you see it on the computer screen or in a glossy print it isn’t the great picture you imagined it to be. There are things in the background you didn’t notice; the electricity pylon really shouldn’t look as if it’s coming out of his head! What appeared so balanced and dynamic, is as flat and dull as can be.

So with life. It’s so easy to see yourself as ‘wheat’ and other people as ‘weeds.’ So easy to point the finger; so easy to paint others in the worst of lights. We excuse ourselves because of the pressure of circumstances, but we condemn others for deep-rooted flaws in their very selves. It’s so easy to see the world in stark terms — us and them, the good and the bad, the kindly and the cruel, wheat or weeds. We label people wheat or weeds in the troubles of this pandemic. A little parable about weeds and wheat starts to be scarily realistic.

Our inclination is to divide the world sharply into wheat and weeds, saints and sinners. But Christ’s parable suggests something else — let the wheat and weeds grow together. That speaks directly to the complexity of the human character. We can’t escape the truth that ‘evil’ isn’t all about what’s outside ourselves. That the ‘wrong-uns’ aren’t just other people. The ‘weeds’ of this parable are part of us.

But take the focus off yourself and look at what God sees—a call to see reality as it is, rather than as what we construct by our prejudices. It’s hard to tell wheat from weeds — that’s the problem. We are so confident that we can identify ‘unrighteousness,’ in ourselves or others. This parable tells another story. Only the angels seem to be able to sort it all out! We may not be the best judge of what is ‘good’ or ‘evil’ either in ourselves or in others.

If the weeds and the wheat look so much alike, why bother at all? Why not plough the lot under? But that’s not God’s way. God creates out of love and for love. God enters the field. God becomes wheat with us and for us, enduring the struggle, the pain, the vexation of the weeds - the weediness of the weeds. And enduring the harvest too, so that we may know how life is redeemed: how harm and sin is overcome, the tangle of growth separated, and good grain turned to new life. Only God may do the dividing: our role is to be kind to others and ourselves as we wait for his untangling.

With every blessing,
Christopher


READINGS for the 6th Sunday after Trinity (Year A)

  • Solomon 12:13. 16-19 or Isaiah 44:6-8
  • Psalm 86:11-17
  • Romans 8:12-25
  • Matthew 13:24-30. 36-43

Readings available to read online (New Revised Standard Version - NRSV)


NOTICES

Holy Trinity Blacon are the living church of our living God, and we continue to be at work here!  If you are able, do check the parish website (especially the Coronavirus Support page) or our Facebook page  for updates.  We will put further worship and prayer up there (and on our You Tube channel) each Sunday morning by 10am.

JOIN US FOR EVENING PRAYER
every Wednesday at 5pm.  If you are not on the internet, it is possible to join us over the telephone – please contact us in advance if you would like to do that.

DAILY HOPE
is a free phone line for hymns, prayers and reflections – 0800 804 8044

FOR THOSE IN NEED 
Holy Trinity Church Hall is providing emergency food for families and individuals in need at this time. To register for this, please use this form.   For more information, please contact Blacon Action Team by email or 07719960541.

HELPLINES 
Cheshire West and Chester council have a helpline to advise or support vulnerable adults who need assistance with food, medicines or social contact
(open 8am to 7pm everyday) call 0300 123 7031 or email.

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
We would love to hear from you!  Do share with us any photos, poems, verses, pictures, songs, reflections, to keep in touch and encourage the rest of us.

PRAYING FOR BLACON
During lockdown, Louise and Tina are taking our exercise particularly along those streets we are praying for each week.  Do join us in praying for those residents.  This week we pray for: Cyman Close, Willan Road, Wemyss Road 
& Phillips Road.