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July 23

Matthew 13, 40 – 43

Something to read

Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
New Revised Standard Version  

Something to think about

The media is always telling us bad news, rarely the good. I wonder what the true balance of good and evil is within our world.

In our reading Jesus talks about the end time when evil will be ‘collected’ out of the world, and ‘the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom’ (v43).

This is a vision of a perfect winding up of time. There will be no more war, corruption, greed and selfishness; instead there will be love, honesty, sharing and equality. The more you reflect on that picture the more you are blown away by it!

But the same words also tell us that evil will be with us until that end time. That is a very sobering thought!

There is also a warning attached, there is a need to hear and heed this message [v43b]. We need to make sure our lives and work for the kingdom are not marked with evil; else they will not stand in the kingdom of God.

As Jesus said, ‘The one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.’ (Luke 6:49)

Which leaves us with one important question, are you living and building for eternity?

Something to do

Take a ‘bad’ news headline. Identify the factors within the story e.g. causes, actions, outcomes.

Rewrite the story, weaving ‘Kingdom of God’ attitudes and actions into it, thereby turning it around.

Is there a story in your own life or community that needs turning round?  

Something to pray

Pray through the story you chose.
In your prayer be aware of everyone’s needs,
Be completely unbiased, seek to bring God’s blessings on all involved.

Today's contributor is The Rev Frazer Hawkes, a retired Methodist minister

 

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