Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Matthew 13:24-30)
Merciful God, you plant each of us like seeds in the same field and together we are nourished and nurtured by the sun. We sway in the wind and are refreshed by the rain. We are blessed by the knowledge that you want us to grow towards what you call us to be.
When we deprive others of that same opportunity, forgive us.
When we want to uproot those whom we believe do not belong in our part of the field, forgive us.
When we label others as good or bad rather than accept them for who they are, forgive us.
When we are reluctant to acknowledge that we ourselves are a mixture of weeds and wheat, forgive us.
When we are afraid to look into the fields of our own lives to see what is growing there, forgive us.
O God, you know us inside and out, through and through.
You search us out and lay your hand upon us.
You know what we are going to say even before we speak.
So we pray that you will help us to reach out to the uprooted and rejected,
the lonely and the outcast,
and to develop and grow the good in ourselves, in others, and in the world.
This we pray in Jesus’s name.