Sunday morning, and I am thinking about the parable of the wheat and the darnel (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43).
Matthew’s whole presentation of the gospel—the good news of Jesus—emphasises the contrast between those who receive Jesus and those who reject him. And this is a parable of what the Church will look like. In contrast to the expectation that God would soon vindicate the Jews (as a whole) and judge the Gentiles (as a whole, and in particular the Roman Empire), Jesus points to a crisis—the end of the ‘Second Temple’ Age in 70 CE—in which God would judge the nations, beginning with his own people, and establish a new humanity made up of both those Jews and those Gentiles who found reconciliation in the community formed in and through and around Jesus.
This is a parable that profoundly undermines our culture wars.
In our own present crisis, God is again judging the Church and the world, in order to bring about a renewed humanity. The wheat and the darnel are both uprooted.
In what ways will the Church look different beyond this moment in history?
The truth is, we don’t know—because it hasn’t happened yet. But this is the story that is unfolding. And so, attentive to how it may unfold, we hold on to being a community shaped in and through and around Jesus, as we rehearse our creedal confession and participate in sharing in communion.