Grace Episcopal Church



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Proper 11A 2014
20 July, Pent. 6
Jack Hardaway


            Sometimes, trying to get rid of weeds causes more harm than good.
            At our home we are always establishing or maintaining flower beds and vegetable plots.  We have a spray can of herbicide we use to stem off any weeds from sneaking into our flower beds, the problem is that we kill other plants as well.
            Growing up our yard was almost without weeds.  We seeded, fertilized, spread poison.  I dragged around a wax bar that had all sorts of nasty things in it to kill dandelions, and crab grass.  I think it’s illegal now.  Our yard was a sort of plush toxic green, long before Chemlawn came along.  I used to walk barefoot through it.   I’m surprised I don’t have seven toes on each foot.
            Our neighbors had plenty of weeds, especially dandelions.  When those dandelions went to seed the air would turn white with those little white parachutes, and all those seeds would fly straight into our front yard.  So every year more chemicals and poison…
            I once read of a man who cultivated dandelions in his yard so he could pick them and press them to make dandelion wine.  That seemed like a much a better form of weed control, except all that grass that grew between the dandelions was now the weed…
            Sometimes, trying to get rid of the weeds causes more harm than good.
            God’s kingdom is like that.
            There will always be weeds, there will always be sin, there will always be evil and imperfection.   There will be failure and mistakes.  Sometimes we try too hard for some sort of purity and perfection, but we kill the wheat when we try to take out the weeds, we try to kill all the morning glory but we take out all our tomatoes at the same time.
            Sometimes, trying to get rid of the weeds causes more harm than good.
            Sometimes we suddenly find that we have become much more destructive than weeds will ever be.
            It’s a good thing that God’s kingdom is a patient and tolerant place, the weeds and the wheat grow together, sometimes unsure of which one is which, until God is ready.
            And God can be trusted with separating our fruit from our weeds.
            In fact only God can be trusted with that.  As Julian of Norwich wrote over six hundred years ago, “All will be well. All manner of things will be well.”
            Do we try to take do God’s weeding into our own clumsy hands?
            Do we turn ourselves into instruments of death when we try to be servants of life?
            Here we are in the fields of the Lord.
            Let’s be as patient with one another as our Lord is with us. 
             It is enough to live as faithfully as we can with all sorts of imperfection.   In fact we can live boldly and hopefully in the midst of imperfection and failure because God can be trusted to sort things out.
            What is the Kingdom of heaven like?  There is nothing perfect or pure about it.  All sorts of things growing together until the time is right.  In fact the lesson of the Kingdom of heaven is how will we live with this crazy mix of beauty and brokenness in our lives?
            It isn’t about how to separate the two.  That’s up to God.
            It’s all about how we learn to live with imperfection and failure, with beauty and holiness all at the same time.  Such is the stuff of life.
            That is what the Kingdom of heaven is like, if we have ears to hear.

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(These are Microsoft Word documents)
7-20-2014 Proper 11A 2014
6-08-2014 Pentecost 2014
6-01-2014 Easter 7a 2014
5-25-2014 Easter 6a 2014
5-18-2014 Easter 5a 2014
5-11-2014 Easter 4a 2014
5-4-2014 Easter 3a 2014
4-27-2014 Easter 2a 2014
4-20-2014 Easter 2014
4-18-2014 Good Friday 2014
04-09-2014 Lent 5a 2014
03-30-2014 Lent 4a 2014
03-06-2014 Lent 2a 2014
03-09-2014 Lent 1a 2014
03-05-2014 Ash Wednesday 2014
02-23-2014 Epiphany 7a 2014
02-09-2014 Epiphany 5a 2014
01-26-2014 Epiphany 3a 2014(pdf)
01-19-2014 Epiphany 2a 2014
01-12-2014 Epiphany 1a 2014
01-05-2014 Christmas 2 2014
12-25-2013 Christmas 2013
12-24-2013 Christmas Eve 2013
12-22-2013 Advent 4a 2013
12-01-2013 Advent 1a 2013
11-24-2013 Proper 29c 2013
11-17-2013 Proper 28c 2013
11-10-2013 Proper 27c 2013
10-27-2013 Proper 25c 2013
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6-09-2013 Proper 5c 2013
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5-26-2013 Trinity Sunday C 2013
5-19-2013 Penecost C 2013
5-12-2013 Ascension Sunday 2013
5-5-2013 Easter 6c 2013
4-17-2013 Easter 4c 2013
4-14-2013 Easter 3c 2013
3-31-2013 Easter 2013
3-29-2013 Good Friday 2013
3-28-2013 Maundy Thursday 2013
3-17-2013 Lent 5c 2013M
3-13-2013 Christ Church Lenten Sermon
3-10-2013 Lent 4c 2013
3-3-2013 Lent 3c 2013
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