On Sunday we listened to some parables of Jesus about the kingdom of heaven. Did you hear them? Here is an extension of a conversation we began on Sunday; listen again:
The kingdom of God is not something in the far future that is going suddenly to come down from heaven and settle on you and magically turn everything right. You yourselves are It. It’s in you and among you; you have to do It or It will never come.Beatrice Bruteau Source: The Holy Thursday Revolution
On Sunday (9/18) we heard a story. “The kingdom of heaven is like . . . .” (Matthew 20:1-16) The parable ends with these words of Jesus: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” The discussion within the Forum spoke to the issues of entitlement, love of neighbor, ego, pride, and placement in the Kingdom. Nothing was resolved; but, engagement with Jesus’ story and the unsettling wind of the Spirit around the table and within us was exhilarating.
With the words about the first and the last and the generosity of God commanding our attention we take a look at this Sunday’s readings (9/25) and discover Paul’s admonition: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Is it just a happy accident that these two readings occur on successive Sunday’s in our lectionary? Is it more? What is the Spirit saying to you and me about humility, about honesty, about graciously accepting God’s generosity without judging who should be first or last or wondering if someone is getting more than they deserve or more than we are getting? What is the Spirit saying to you as you take up Jesus’ parable, his story (read Philippians 2:5-11), and Paul’s admonition?
Leave a comment, continue the conversation. Hear what the Spirit is saying.