In the Time of Harvest

For the student of Christian Science who is struggling bravely to discern the allness of God in the midst of aggressive attacks of evil, there is a wonderful lesson in the parable told by Jesus as he sat in the ship talking to the multitude upon the shore. He likened the kingdom of heaven to the man who sowed good seed in his field. Then followed the narrative of the enemy coming and sowing tares with the wheat, and of his servants' astonished query as to the origin of the tares. There is the simple answer, "An enemy hath done this," and in reply to their request to be allowed to gather up the tares and destroy them he said: "Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

How similar is the experience of the student striving to attain the kingdom of heaven on earth. He has sown good seed in his field, but suddenly he is confronted with an abundant growth of tares (evil beliefs) which threaten to uproot the tender plants of fruitful demonstration. Whence come these tares? It is the old question of the servants. Shall he go and gather them up? Shall he lay hold of his companions in the field and say: "Here are tares. This man's dishonesty is hindering my demonstration of the truth; yonder is a brother who is trying to dominate me; there is one whose pride and self-will will ruin my harvest; I must gather up these noxious beliefs and hold them up to the gaze of the world in order that my field may be clean"?

Wise indeed was that householder of old. His thought was not centered upon the immediate annihilation of the tares; it was entirely for the growth and safeguarding of the wheat beside them. He knew that sun and rain and fertile earth would nourish the growing grain and give the elements necessary to sustain it until the time of maturity, even though by its side grew to their own sure ripening the offending tares; while if ruthless hands uprooted the tares in earlier growth, the tender spreading roots of the grain might be irremediably injured. Human will in the student would impel an immediate gathering of all things that offend, regardless of possible injury to the tender growing thought that requires, perhaps, to remain undisturbed in order to fulfill its promise. On page 111 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says, "Leaving the seed of Truth to its own vitality, it propagates: the tares cannot hinder it."

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The Activity of the Christ
September 21, 1918

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