Thistle Theology – Br. Jim Woodrum

Br. Jim WoodrumIsaiah 44:6-8; Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Our gospel lesson for today made me recall what I remember as the very first theological conundrum of my childhood.  I was probably 7 or 8 years old, it was summertime, and my Mom had admonished me to go outside and play.  I suspect on that particular day I had been a bee in my mother’s bonnet.  I walked outside into the front yard barefoot, enjoying the feeling of the warm grass between my toes.  That is until I experienced the sensation of sharp pain all over the bottom of my foot.  I jerked my foot up quickly as I looked down to discover that I had stepped squarely on a thistle.  After I had recovered from the pain, made sure there were no needles stuck in my foot, and surveyed the scene hoping that my parents had not heard the expletive I had shouted (not necessarily in that order), I began to wonder why God made thistles in the first place.  What was the purpose or a thistle?  Why did God create something to inflict pain on a barefooted kid such as myself? Read More

Overcoming Evil – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke Ditewig

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Jesus teaches using stories from everyday life, divine truth revealed in soil and seeds, wheat and weeds, yeast and bread, fish and nets. Today is wheat and weeds. We may not be familiar with wheat, but our own lush summer garden growth includes plenty of weeds.

Jesus tells a story of something that happened so often that there’s record of this crime and its punishment in the civil law of his day: sowing weeds into another’s field.  As we hear in the story, the weeds looked particularly like wheat when young. At first, one couldn’t tell the difference. Only later having grown up and starting to produce fruit do the weeds distinguish and appear. Read More