Parenting with the Parables – The Automatic Kingdom

Family, The Parables, Thoughts
"And Jesus was saying, 'The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows - how, he himself does not know.  The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.  But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come' " (Mk 4:26-29). Lest we become discouraged by the two kingdoms - the wheat and the weeds of our last parable - growing together, Jesus gives us a message of hope in the parable of the automatic kingdom.  And the message of hope is that the good kingdom will not be choked…
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Parenting with the Parables – The Wheat and the Weeds

Family, The Parables, Thoughts
Like so many of Jesus’ parables, the story of the wheat and the weeds (Mt 13:24-30) begins with “The kingdom of heaven is like…”  What is coming next is a word picture describing some aspect of the kingdom of God.  In this parable, the farmer planted wheat ("the good seed") in his field.  At night, his enemy came and sowed weeds.  At first no one realized the sabotage.  But as the wheat and the weeds began to grow together, it was obvious something was wrong.  The confused workers quizzed the farmer, “Did you not sow good seed in your field?  How then does it have weeds?” (Mt 13:27).  The farmer recognizes this as the work of an enemy.  The workers respond with a willingness to immediately yank out the weeds.  But…
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Parenting with the Parables – The Humble Servant

Family, The Parables, Thoughts
Parenting is the ultimate and varied balancing act.  Balancing love and control.  Balancing grace and truth.  Balancing positive self-esteem and humility.  Balancing giving an allowance and children earning their money.  The list can be as general or specific as we choose.  Today, we are balancing generosity with duty. "Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come immediately and sit down to eat'?  But will he not say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink'?  He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?  So you too, when you…
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Parenting with the Parables – The Workers in the Vineyard

Family, The Parables, Thoughts
Today's parable found in Matthew 20:1-16 starts with, "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out to hire laborers..."  Let me summarize the story. A landowner has a lot of work that needs done in his vineyard.  Most likely, he needs workers to gather the harvest.  He goes out at six in the morning to the place where the day laborers congregate.  He hires a group of them and agrees to pay them one denarius, the going daily wage, for a day's work in his vineyard. The landowner goes back to the gathering place at three-hour intervals; i.e. at 9 am, noon, and 3 pm.  Notice the agreement he makes with the later workers, "You go to the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give to…
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