March 17, 2020

Daily Matthew Reflection by Angie Smith
Matthew 13:36-48

All the parables in Matthew 13 remind us that the final judgement will be for all people and that God is the judge.

Since the beginning of the church certain groups have had various ideas regarding who is wheat and weeds. A lot of blood has been shed because it appears that humans commit the sin of acting as God at the final judgement on a regular basis. And I get it, it’s easy to judge to someone based on their theology. And we should call out bad public theologians, but we should not play the roll of God and separate the wheat from the weeds, good fish from bad fish.

In the church I grew up in these parables were a key part of theology. However, God as the judge vs humans as the judge was a very blurred line. God would decide who would be raptured and who be left behind, but in the meantime everyone that didn’t have the same beliefs we had was going to hell. In case you’re wondering, Lutherans definitely get left behind in this scenario. It was and is terrible theology, but we cannot pass judgments on what will happen at the final judgement.

Speaking of terrible theology, I’m sure many of you have seen Facebook posts declaring that the pandemic is God’s judgment, that this is some sort of sign pointing toward the end times- don’t worry it’s not. This is not God separating wheat and weeds, good fish and bad fish, and no one is being thrown into a furnace by an angel. The pandemic isn’t going to end if we all have more faith in God. That’s simply not how faith and science work. Life happens and God sustains us.

As life happens to us, we have a responsibility to pray for our neighbors that we agree with, but also for our neighbors with whom we disagree. Take some extra time this week to pray, not because it will end the pandemic sooner, but because as Christians we are called to be a people of faith. We’re in this field together and God is the midst of the field.