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13 July 2014
posted by Canon Dakin on 21-07-2014

 Does God love the devil? Does the sun shine on the wheat and the weeds?  Our Lord welcomed sinners; he loved them, but told them to sin no more. There is a basic distinction between the sin and the sinner. Do you know what is the worst thing you can ever tell a child? That, if they misbehave, God will not love them.  Such a child, in later life, may have a problem about God’s forgiveness.  One of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims had a brooch with the motto engraved: Amor vincit omnia - Love conquers all. Where there is lack of love insecurity can lead to much unhappiness. There was a report in a newspaper yesterday of a gay man who had married and became the father of two children before abandoning his family to live with a succession of partners. It seems he felt obliged to follow, at first, the conventional respectable course because his Catholic Victorian parents would have thrown him out.

If that were true it would be sad. There is a time to stand up for what we believe, but there is a time also to recognise that we can love and respect each other even when we fail to share the same values.

Compassion and understanding is needed not just in families but in every area of human relationships, Christian and Muslim, Pro-life and Pro-choice, in the debate for and against assisted dying. In the parable the original Greek word for the weed implied a kind that was almost indistinguishable from the wheat and it is true that people who take up contrary positions often have more in common than they perceive or are prepared to admit.

Out Lord’s take on the parable is simple: Don’t be too quick to write people off.

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