“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will reap a crop of my love; plow the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord. HOSEA 10:12
Jesus spent his entire ministry teaching one main message: Open your eyes and see a new way of being human available to you. He called this new reality the Kingdom of God.
Yet, when the greatest teacher who ever lived reached for metaphors and images to describe this profound Kingdom reality, he didn’t direct our attention to the heavens and talk about harps and angels and a cloudy afterlife.
Instead, he repeatedly turned our attention to the mud and dirt under our feet.
“You want to know what the Kingdom of God is like?” he would ask. “Then look at the flowers of the field and how they grow” (Mt. 6:28). Or, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away” (Mt. 13:25-26). Or, “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I’m the vine and you are the branches; stay connected to me and you’ll thrive. But He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me” (Jn 15).
If you were a Christian back in Jesus’ day, you were not racing your kids to VBS, comparing your worship band with the one down the road, or scrambling to get to church on time. Rather, you were probably sitting on a grassy hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee with a gentle breeze in your face and asking the question, “Jesus, will you please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field” (Mt. 13:36)? I imagine Jesus letting the question hang in the air long enough to let the birds chirp their answer and the sound of the waves washing on the beach to set the backbeat before Jesus tries again to unpack the melodies of the Kingdom Dance we’re being invited into.
We would do good to slow down this summer and ask Jesus that same question today. The mysterious, life-changing power of the Kingdom is still available. God still wants to reveal to us the secrets of the kingdom of God that can change us the world today.
Jesus said that the litmus test for being a true disciple is that we obey his commands. While some of his commands are difficult, my favorite command Jesus ever gave his disciples is to go sit in a field and “Study the flowers!”
So, this summer let’s practice obeying Jesus’ command to “Look at the flowers of the field and how they grow.” We’re going to ask that simple but profound question, “Jesus, will you explain to us the story of the weeds in the field?”
Let’s really “go green” this summer! Let’s engage in some “Green Thumb Theology.” Let’s do some home lawn and gardening work of the soul. Grab your work gloves, spade and Bible, and we’ll meet you in God’s Garden!
Read more from Jeremy’s “Going Green” series here.