The kingdom of heaven is like

On Sunday, July 24, 2011 Brian got us all thinking about the parables of Jesus in his sermon. We were invited to consider Jesus’ words more deeply, including the fact that his images may not be as neutral as one would think (or as you have been led to believe). While we wait for the podcast and posting of his sermon, here is another preacher, a Lutheran, raising the same issues for us in her own words:

… Today we heard Jesus say that The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that when it has grown becomes the greatest of all shrubs. Um, the greatest of all shrubs?  What kind of off-brand kingdom is this?   It’s like saying someone is the smartest of all the idiots or the mightiest of all baby dolls. Yet he says Heaven’s kingdom is like Shrubs, and nets and yeast  – and the yeast part might be the worst when you realize that yeast is considered impure – we’re not talking little packets of Flieshman’s we find at King Soopers – we’re talking big lumps of mold which contaminate….and that in fact, Jews were required to  rid their entire house of yeast before celebrating some Holy Days.

We mistakenly may think that the kingdom of God should follow our value system and also be powerful or impressive and shiny. But that’s not what Jesus brings.  He brings a kingdom ruled by the crucified one – populated by the unclean, and suffused with mercy rather than power. And it’s always found in the unexpected.… Read the whole sermon

Share your thoughts about Brian’s sermon  and Nadia’s sermon and the words of Jesus in Matthew 13. Keep the conversation going, leave a comment; two fine preachers have set us to thinking about the kingdom…

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (from the Diocese of San Diego; "Retired" due to illness).

3 thoughts on “The kingdom of heaven is like”

  1. The priest at the church we attended yesterday compared the mustard weed to kudzu–it’s all over the place, and you really can’t keep it from growing. 🙂

    1. Which is, I suppose, like the Kingdom of Heaven. (I should have clarified…)

      Anyway, I really like Nadia’s notion of the Kingdom not really being what or where you expect it to be. What an amazing thing to be a part of…

    2. That’s a new one on me: kudzu (and I understood about the kingdom of heaven being everywhere). This fits so well with the conversation in the Forum at the church yesterday: how it is “miraculous” that God uses such ordinary (and maybe even easily ignored) things/persons to accomplish so much! God’s grace is truly amazing.

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