“24He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (Matthew 13:24-30).In his commentary on Matthew 11:2-20:34, Dr. Jeffrey A. Gibbs suggests that Jesus is telling us it may be that instead of working to “write off” members of a congregation who continually absent themselves, refusing and rejecting the gifts God gives, it might be better to continually invite and encourage them to return before it is too late, because in the end, God will sort it all out.
A corollary of the Wheat and the Weeds is what we have been studying in Leviticus in Bible Class. From our study we have this question and answer. Leviticus Chapter 15 “shows us that while holiness can’t be transferred by touch, uncleanness can. How does understanding this truth affect our actions as parents? as members of a congregation? Holiness before God isn’t genetic. Many parents think that if they are faithful members while their children drift, the children will still be okay with God. Delinquents think that if they have their name on the membership list, somehow that covers them with purity before God. But read Ezekiel 18:20! How important it is for parents to see that their children remain in contact with the Word and sacraments, which alone can cleanse from sin. How important it is to seek the lost and lead them back to the Word, which alone can purify by creating faith in the Son of God.”
So, if our excuse for refusing and rejecting God’s gifts include any of the following: “I am mad at the pastor” (to which it was noted there are many other congregations to which God has called faithful pastors); “I am mad at some other member of the congregation;” “My children live in another town, but have always been members of this church;” or even, “My parents made me go to church as a child and I did not like it.” Please consider what God actually tells us in His Word, that is that He will ultimately hold each and everyone of us accountable for our own actions, either absenting ourselves, refusing and rejecting the gifts He has to give through His means of grace and the one He has called to distribute those means, or making regular and diligent use of those means, meaning being in Divine Service and Bible Class as often as offered.
My prayer as your pastor and our prayer as a Board of Elders is that God would stir in your heart to be the later.