Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
The parables of the Kingdom in Matthew 13 had a unique purpose in Jesus ministry.
It was with these parables that Jesus sought to test the hearts of the crowds
and to force them to commit either to be with him
or against him.
At the same time he uses the parables to reveal the secrets
of the kingdom to his disciples.
IN the parable of the Sower we can reflect on
the responsibility we have to sow the word of God
while trusting God for the increase.
The parable of the Wheat and Weeds
and the parable of the dragnet
look at the looming judgement of the kingdom of heaven.
Although the kingdom has been inaugurated in this world
through the sowing of the gospel seed,
and many have become disciples,
evil stills survives in this world,
and unfortunately in the church as well.
On the surface,
Christians may not look different from others in the world,
but there is an inherent difference
as a result of the personal transformation
that produces righteousness in a person’s life.
But these parables make another important point.
We will not see the uprooting or elimination of evil
until the end of this age.
This mixed nature of humanity that is oh so evident in the world
But Jesus does give a rock solid foundation for hope.
Evil derives from the evil one, not from God.
We should expect spiritual battles in our lives
and the lives of our loved ones
throughout this age as we live in a world
that is contaminated by evil.
BUT there looms on the horizon of history
certain rescue for Jesus’s disciples
and certain judgement for those aligned with the evil one.
Jesus’ disciples are not called out during this age,
in fact we are called to be lights in the darkness,
but we are promised to have Jesus’ continual prayer
for the father’s protecting hand upon us. (John 17:15-19)
As Jesus prayed in Gethsemane:
I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:15-19
And there is a warning for the church
in the parable of the Wheat and the Weeds.
Satan will try to infiltrate the church
and we must be on our guard against it.
We should pray earnestly for the church
and especially its leaders
so that they do not fall as we have seen so many fall
over the last few years with the various scandals
that have rocked the church.
And although Satan will operate in this world until judgement
he can only get a foothold in our communities
if we give it to him by surrendering to the temptation of sin.
So, as we contend with the evil we see in the world,
let us move forward in hope,
rock solid hope,
that the father tends to us
as we contend with the weeds around us.
Let us remain calm in adversity
so we can see things from a heavenly perspective.
Life is a struggle sometimes,
but it is through struggle that we grow strong.
And through all our struggles,
let us pray that we will maintain the wisdom
to discern wisely between truth and falsehood
amid the contending voices of our world,
knowing that in the end
truth and goodness are invincible.
The Lord be with you.
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.