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Daily Devotional for November 3


November 3                                                Matthew 13:24-30

               "The servants replied to the householder,
      'Then do you want us to go and gather [the weeds?]'
                     But the householder said, 'No. ...' "

"Jesus, I love the church, but there's just one problem."

"And what is that problem?"

Without hesitation I reply, "Some people in the church are
unbearable! They bicker, criticize, judge, and gossip. They in-
ject negative energy wherever they get involved. Jesus, if the
church were a wheat field, these people would be weeds!"

Jesus responds tersely, "Nice analogy - moreover, you're
right. This is a problem in the church."

"Well then," I add impatiently, "why do we put up with these
people? Let's get rid of them! After all, a cardinal rule of
agriculture is to stay ahead of the weeds! ' ,

"No; let them stay," Jesus says calmly. "It is not up to you
to pullout the weeds. That is my prerogative."

"If that's the case, Jesus," I answer impulsively, "you're going
to have a very messy reign on this earth!"

"You're quite right; the church will always be a mixed bag,
but its task is not therefore to engage in purges and inquisi-
tions." Jesus' eyes grow bright with intensity as he continues:
"We must not reject the unlovely and the unlovable, but rather
let us love them to wholeness. For it is not God's will that
one single soul should be lost to evil."

A strange peace settles on me at these words, as if somehow
what Christ is suggesting I do for others has just been done
for me. In one sense nothing has changed: judgmental people,
gossips, and nit-pickers will always be in the church. Yet in
another sense everything has changed: for thanks to this con-
versation with Jesus, I am learning not to be one of them.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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