I would love to start this with the phrase "my gardens are growing...." but I really cannot begin that way. To be brutally honest, I must say the places where there were gardens in my yard are chaotic tangles of flora and fauna. Bushes, flowers, weeds, saplings all compete for a place in the sun. And its a mess. There is nothing inviting about my yard. Outside my front door, I have a visual picture of Matthew 13:24-30--the parable of the wheat and the weeds. The wheat is planted by the Master's workers and then the enemy plants weeds. And the Master tells the workers to allow them to grow up together. This, Jesus said, is what the Kingdom of God is like. Well, my garden is messy because the desired plants are growing up alongside the weeds and thorns. And so, does that mean, God's Kingdom, until Christ returns, is a messy place?
How does that affect what I expect from church? Perhaps grace is the only acceptable response. But I'm not sure how to respond with grace. We all have our pet peeves about church and about Christians.Those things, those sins, those hypocrisies which press our buttons and try our patience. How do we show grace to each other and the world even in the areas that try our patience?