John said of Jesus: “His winnowing fork is in his hand to
clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will
burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3]
I don’t think that way any more. I’m not saying there is no judgment of individuals; clearly there is (though we’ve misunderstood it most of the time).
But wheat is produce, it’s fruit. This is talking about what we produce, the fruit we bear. This isn’t Revelation 20, it’s 1Corinthians 3:12-15.
In fact, I don’t think this is something to run from; I don’t think this is a threat. This is an offer of help. This is priceless.
I can’t speak for you, but for myself, I have to admit that there’s stuff in my life that’s not helpful. There’s stuff that gets in my way, stuff that slows me down, stuff that distracts me. There’s chaff in my life. I’m OK with that being removed from me.
And one of the earliest and most foundational descriptions of Jesus is all about that: keeping the good, the nourishing, getting rid of the useless, the distraction.
And if I think about it, that’s the essence of Jesus’ first sermon: “Repent [change how you think], for the
Invitation: if you feel like it, invite Jesus to point out chaff in your life, in your memories, in your values, in your ways of thinking. And invite him to take his winnowing fork to you, and to remove those things.
And trust him to do it kindly. Cuz that’s who he is.