Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Eve

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. Matthew 13:36-43

The days are growing markedly shorted, and leaves are turning as is our world. We live on the edge this time of year, between seasons, between dark and light, between good and evil, and we feel it most completely on a night like this. I have always enjoyed Halloween, a time to dress up and act out, enjoying the scare and the drama of a good, safe fright. This is not the devil's holiday, not matter what folks might say, but rather a socially acceptable time to admit our fears and vulnerabilities and enjoy the children turning the world upside down for one night. We can all be a little childish on a night such as this, knowing that it is cathartic and a preparation for All Saints' Day.

Jesus is asked to explain the meaning of the parable of the weeds. He is clear that there is evil in the world, people and things that are bent on destroying the blessings of God in life, bent on removing love and goodness from people. Jesus is very clear in his explanation. It is God who removes and burn the weeds. We can tend our gardens and be faithful, but there will be weeds. There will be greed and evil, within and without ourselves. We can do our utmost to keep our hearts and souls from the maligning and the abuse of others, and we can ask God to help us overcome the evil in our world. But in the end, rooting out evil and destroying it all is in God's hands. We are invited to be good and tender gardeners.

Today I ask God to help me examine my heart and rid myself or jealousy, anger and envy. I ask that I might be instead generous and forgiving to everyone I encounter today. May our joy be childlike today, rejoicing in the moment of fun and delight, trusting God to conquer all the evil that comes into the garden. May we use our gifts and skills for the good of all growing and living things today.

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