Proverbs 21:30–22:6; 1 Timothy 4:1–16; Matthew 13:24–30
Sometimes, the daily lectionary readings conspire to hit us with a one-two punch; today is just such a day. What are we to believe: that those raised in the faith will not depart from it later in life (our reading from Proverbs), or that some will stray from the faith, choosing instead to pursue other so-called “spiritual” paths (our reading from 1 Timothy)? Many a parent (including this one) has watched a child leave the nest for college or a first job with the promise of Proverbs ringing in their hearts: “We’ve done all we can to pour faith into her; all we can do now is trust that it will take root and grow.”
Perhaps our readings are not in opposition to each other, but are a “both / and.” Yes, those raised in faith may stray in the short run, but those seeds can still blossom. In the image from our gospel reading, the seeds of faith may sprout but remain hidden or overshadowed amongst the weeds of life. Ultimately, we are not the gardener responsible for separating the good seed from the weeds. We are only responsible for sowing the seeds and watering them with the Living Water who is Jesus.
Prayer: Gracious Lord God, thank you for those who poured the seeds of faith into our lives, and for your living water, Jesus, who caused it to grow, so that we may do so for others. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Allen Schoonover, Associate Pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church, Noblesville, IN.