Grain and Chaff
I’m going over the lectionary, planning a sermon for Sunday. My mind is working on the sermon, but also this, which probably won’t end up in the sermon:
His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.Luke 3:17
A winnowing fork is used to throw grain up into the air. The chaff, which is lighter, blows away in the wind while the heavy grain returns to the floor. I think the easy assumption from this passage is that the “good” people are the grain and the “bad” people are the chaff. The “bad” people will burn, while the “good” fruitful people (the grain) are saved.
But I wonder if that is what he meant. Our pastor said something to me the other day about the refiner’s fire that has started me thinking. I wonder if this could be a description of transformation, rather than separation. God will work with us, transforming us, so that the chaff – sin, those things about us that hurt us or others – whatever that might be – are blown away, burned, removed, while our original created purpose, our “Godly” nature (that which was created in the image of God) is kept, refined, strengthened, so that we are changed.
Am I reaching, or does any of this make sense?
Labels: New Testament