Updated: Jul 14, 2020
COLLECT of the DAY
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
CHALLENGE: Here are questions to ponder:
1. What do we learn about the character of God from the Collect and Scriptures? What words are repeated throughout the readings?
2. What are we asking from God as we pray the Collect?
3. How is the Holy Spirit guiding you to apply the teaching in the Parable of the Weeds to your present situation as a leader?
FIRST READING: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
13 For neither is there any god besides you, whose care is for all people,* to whom you should prove that you have not judged unjustly;
16 For your strength is the source of righteousness, and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all. 17 For you show your strength when people doubt the completeness of your power, and you rebuke any insolence among those who know it.* 18 Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us; for you have power to act whenever you choose.
19 Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous must be kind, and you have filled your children with good hope, because you give repentance for sins.
1 Bow down your ear, O Lord, and hear me, *
for I am poor and in misery.
2 Preserve my life, for I am faithful; *
my God, save your servant who puts his trust in you.
3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord, *
for I will call daily upon you.
4 Comfort the soul of your servant, *
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, Lord, are good and gracious, *
and of great mercy to all those who call upon you.
6 Give ear, Lord, unto my prayer, *
and attend to the voice of my humble supplications.
7 In the time of my trouble I will call upon you, *
for you answer me when I call.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord, *
nor are there any deeds like yours.
9 All nations that you have made shall come and worship you, O Lord, *
and shall glorify your Name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things; *
indeed, you are God alone.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; *
O knit my heart to you, that I may fear your Name.
12 I will thank you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, *
and will praise your Name for evermore.
13 For great is your mercy toward me; *
you have delivered my life from the nethermost Pit.
14 O God, the proud have risen up against me, *
and the company of violent men have sought after my life, and have not set you before their eyes.
15 But you, O Lord God, are full of compassion and mercy, *
long-suffering, plenteous in goodness and truth.
16 O turn then unto me, and have mercy upon me; *
give your strength unto your servant, and help the son of your handmaid.
17 Show me some token of your favor, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, *
because you, Lord, have been my helper and comforter.
SECOND READING: Romans 8:18-25
Suffering Now and Glory in the Future
18 What we are suffering now is nothing compared with our future glory. 19 Everything God created looks forward to the future. That will be the time when his children appear in their full and final glory. 20 The created world was held back from fulfilling its purpose. But this was not the result of its own choice. It was planned that way by the one who held it back. God planned 21 to set the created world free. He didn’t want it to rot away. Instead, God wanted it to have the same freedom and glory that his children have.
22 We know that all that God created has been groaning. It is in pain as if it were giving birth to a child. The created world continues to groan even now. 23 And that’s not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves. We do this as we look forward to the time when God adopts us as full members of his family. Then he will give us everything he has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them. 24 That’s the hope we had when we were saved. But hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 We hope for what we don’t have yet. So we are patient as we wait for it.
GOSPEL: Matthew 13:24-30, 34-43: The Story of the Weeds
24 Jesus told the crowd another story. “Here is what the kingdom of heaven is like,” he said. “A man planted good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came. The enemy planted weeds among the wheat and then went away. 26 The wheat began to grow and form grain. At the same time, weeds appeared.
27 “The owner’s slaves came to him. They said, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
28 “ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The slaves asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’
29 “ ‘No,’ the owner answered. ‘While you are pulling up the weeds, you might pull up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the workers what to do. Here is what I will say to them. First collect the weeds. Tie them in bundles to be burned. Then gather the wheat. Bring it into my storeroom.’ ”
Jesus Explains the Story of the Weeds
36 Then Jesus left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him. They said, “Explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who planted the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world. The good seed stands for the people who belong to the kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 39 The enemy who plants them is the devil. The harvest is judgment day. And the workers are angels.
40 “The weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. That is how it will be on judgment day. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels. They will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin. They will also get rid of all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace. There people will weep and grind their teeth. 43 Then God’s people will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Whoever has ears should listen.
WISDOM 12:12-18 The Almighty God is utterly sovereign and merciful. He cares for ALL people. He will not judge unjustly. He rules over us with great forbearance (patience). God “gives” us the strength to repent and be filled with hope for a right relationship with God: our ultimate heavenly treasure!
PSALM 86: reveals the prayerful spirit of a servant of God (see verses 2, 4, 16). This is a spirit of humility (v. 1), hope (v. 2), ceaseless prayer (v. 3), a lifting up of the soul to the Lord (v. 4), the glorification of God (vv. 5–10), godly fear (v. 11), and thanksgiving with one's whole heart (vv. 12–17).
ROMANS 8:24 Hope is more than wishful thinking, more than optimism. It is settled confidence about the future. This hope is so sure that we can patiently endure suffering in anticipation of Christ's Kingdom.
MATTHEW 13:24-30 Last week, we read the parable where the seed planted in nurturing soil will grow and produce fruit. Here Jesus lets us know that He knows the enemy (the Devil) comes and plants his own seed that grows into weeds among the good seed. Just as the weeds first appear similar to wheat, so the devil fashions his lies to resemble the truth. That the devil sows while men slept indicates that heresy and lies creep in when people are apathetic.
This parable also explains why the Church neither condemns nominal members, nor judges those outside the Church. Just as wheat would be destroyed in weeding out the weeds, so also, many people who might ultimately find salvation would otherwise be lost if condemned before Christ's judgment.
 Mercy: undeserved compassion, without judgment  Grace: undeserved help and favor, without judgment  Wisdom of Solomon: is a message of encouragement and guidance written to the Jewish people and is part of the Apocrypha, aligned with, but not part of the Old or New Testament of the Bible.  Forbearance: undeserved patience