Monday, July 21, 2008

What could be more Lutheran?

Yesterday's gospel about the wheat and the weeds and letting both grow up together until the end lent itself to several interesting applications of the Lutheran understanding of faith. First there is the similarity in appearance of wheat and tares or weeds. They are nearly indistinguishable. The good and the bad, those following Christ and those who aren't, saints and sinners can be difficult to distinguish from each other. Luther spoke of Christians as being simultaneously saints and sinners. Ahhh how very Lutheran this illustration is. We often like to pigeonhole people as Christian or not, in or out of God's kingdom. There are various varieties of the true litmus test.
Only God knows the depth of one's heart. Today's sinner may be tomorrow's saint.

This parable demonstrates that it is God who will be the judge of one's faith and commitment or lack thereof. Each of us falls and gets back up in our Christian walk. There are times when I am grateful that judgment is reserved for the end with said judge being God. We tend to be harsher judges than God because we make decisions based on limited information whereas God sees the total picture. His mercy and compassion exceeds our own.
Luther echoes this in his response to the third article of the Apostles' Creed. Isn't it wonderful that God is so patient that he is willing to wait a lifetime for our response to him?

Flickr pictures.

4 comments:

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

Our pastor didn't make the point of the types of plants being indistinguishable from one another. Makes sense. But she did say that the roots would be entangled. As a gardener, I sure know that that would be true.

It all made me think of the time when somebody at church made a loud comment about how if we all followed the Bible, then the church would be better. He was referring to a "certain type of person." Well, I decided to look that up. Of course, it isn't in the concordance, but I can look up footnote comments by topic, so I found myself in Romans. And yes, there it was...in the same paragraph with my worst sin. So was I the wheat or the weed? And if they ripped me out for my weedy characteristics, might not the best of me also be ripped out?

Ivy said...

"And if they ripped me out for my weedy characteristics, might not the best of me also be ripped out?" Too true. And we're all still in a process of becoming more Christlike. God isn't finished with us yet!

Not being a gardener (I kill plants), I wondered if roots would become entangled, but I wasn't sure. Thanks for pointing that out. That is something that isn't evident on the surface, is it?

steve martin said...

Ivy,

I love the new look of C,G and S ! Nice job!

Great Post. We do not know who the 'real believers' are. We could never know, because we can't see the heart.

The good work that Christ starts in us...He will finish. It would be nice if we would "all follow the Bible"...but we won't...so fahgettaboudit.

One is either in Christ...or he or she is not.

The ones in Christ look just like the ones not in Christ. We don't judge. Although we don't mess with the weeds before harvest time, we also do not allow a few weeds to poison the whole crop, either. Once in a great while, a weed must be pulled and asked to leave. Thanks be to God that it doesn't happen too often.

Ivy said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the change. It was time.

It's just a good thing God is God and we are not. The Lord knows those who are his. We sure don't need to know it all. Blessings.