c u l t i v a t i o n

“Thus says the Lord, . . .  I will pour My spirit on your seed and My blessing on screen-shot-2020-05-18-at-2.59.57-pmyour offspring. And they shall sprout among the grass like willows by the brooks of water.” [1]. Those words from the prophet Isaiah read like a love story, written for you to lap up like something you’ve thirsted for in all your days. Those words fall like rain on the heat of the present day.

Recently, we entered what I call the seedtime readings. Last week, a sower went out to sow. Today other seeds take root and show up as wheat and weeds. And next Sunday comes a mustard seed. These seedtime readings take place in the thirteenth chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel. Only a day before, he was travelling through grainfields on the Sabbath. Only a day before, the disciples grew hungry and began to pluck heads of grain to eat.

As parables go, the one about leaving the weeds alone, about trusting God will see to it they burn in hell at the harvest—this one is unique to Matthew. You won’t find it in Mark or Luke or John. And as you know, it isn’t really about weeds.

It’s about evil and the hope of getting even.

Matthew often talks about what is evil. Scholars believe he likely wrote his gospel at a time when his community had been thrown out of their local synagogue because they were Jesus followers. They were weeded out. Read more

a story at the intersection of Eastertide and COVID-19

Story note: I wrote and illustrated this story at the unexpected intersection of COVID-19 and the feasts of Passover and Easter. I was inspired by the gospel accounts of an empty tomb marking the Resurrection, by St. Mary Magdalene not seeing what she came looking for in the Gospel according to John, by a second coming hidden away in the resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples, and by a rabbinic story about forgetting and sufficiency in The Poetry of Kabbalah, translated by Peter Cole, Yale University Press, 2012, 241. LFB