We are in a war. This is a real war. The forces are good versus evil, light against dark.

Last week, we began exploring Jesus’s parable of the weeds in Matthew 13:24-30. (Check out the full text of the parable here.) Before we join the battle, we have to be certain we’re on the right side. If you missed what we talked about last week, start here.

The parable of the weeds begins like this, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.”

There’s an important detail in the first line of the story that’s easy to gloss over as we rush to the main idea at the end.

When did the enemy plant the bad seed?

While the servants were sleeping.

“…while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat…”

Sleeping is usually not good in Jesus’s parables. How many times in the gospels does Jesus exhort us to stay awake?

Let me be an old man for just a minute, and tell you about how the world is getting worse. This is not a habit of mine, but we need to be real about this for just a minute.

I’ll be 40 in July. I did most of my growing up in the 90s. I remember my parents being concerned about media when I was a kid. It felt like we weren’t allowed to watch anything.

Nate Bargatze has this joke, “When they made The Simpsons, it was like, I guess they’re just showing R-rated TV shows now.” That’s about what it was like for me too.

Today, they really are making R-rated TV shows. It seems like every time somebody recommends a show to me on a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, within the first couple of scenes there will be nudity and graphic sexual content. (For what it’s worth, that’s a red line for me, and it’s an immediate pass—I don’t care how good the rest of the story is, I won’t support content creators who cross that line.)

I think every generation since the beginning of time thinks that things have gotten worse since they were a kid. Maybe that’s just part of growing up. John Wesley once said, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.”

But it’s also undeniable that over the past twenty years we’ve seen an unprecedented moral decline in America.

What we’re seeing now is more than just a normal generational gap. The world is flying off the handle.

And it’s all our fault. We’ve been asleep.

It’s my fault for sure. I was asleep.

Through my twenties, I did my fair share of watching garbage, giving my money to companies that produce trash, and recommending other people do the same.

I wasn’t a godless heathen, but rather than submit my gifts and my calling completely to God, I spent a fair portion of my twenties pushing the boundaries in all of the wrong ways.

As I’ve said before, we can’t be mad at the world for being the world. What else would we expect them to be? They’re like sheep without a shepherd.

Instead we need to face the truth: we failed to represent the Kingdom in the American media.

We were asleep. Even many “secular” books in the early 20th century were written from a biblical perspective. John Steinbeck is a great example. Despite being a self-described agnostic, his books are rife with biblical allusions and Kingdom value. East of Eden, anyone?

It was all ours for the taking. But the enemy invested—planting and planting, improving the entertainment mediums by every metric, while we just coasted along and let it happen.

We complained. We warned. We ignored. But we didn’t invest.

It’s a shame. But we can’t do anything about it now.

What we can do is answer the question: are we awake now?

Are you awake now?

As Paul exhorts us in his letter to the Ephesians (5:11-17):

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, 

‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Wake up, O sleeper! We have work to do.

The weeds are not our responsibility. But we can sow more good seed. We can stay awake, be vigilant, and stop the enemy from dropping any more junk seed on our watch.

I don’t care how old you are. It’s time to fully submit ourselves to the call of God. If God is calling you to create better Christian media, the time is now.

Let’s invest in ourselves. Let’s invest in better content—content that shares the gospel overtly, and content that tills the ground for a future harvest.

If we carry the Holy Spirit, let’s act like it. There should be no question of our ability to produce better, richer, deeper, more compelling, higher quality content than our secular counterparts.

That doesn’t usually mean you’ll instantly be the best that you can be. Invest in yourself first. Excel in your craft. And when the Spirit says jump, have courage.

Will you stand up in this time? Will you lead with me and sow good seed?

This is our time to play our part in the great Kingdom story.

Nap time is over.


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