The Kingdom of Heaven

The kingdom of heaven is like… we have started the gospel lesson this way for the past few weeks. Jesus tells us what the kingdom of heaven is like, last week it was about good and evil and how they grow together side by side. This week it is about how a small thing becomes something great, like how a small seed can grow into a big tree or a little bit of yeast makes a big difference in the bread. The other two are about things that are hidden and how the person in the story will give everything they have to acquire it. In the following weeks we’ll hear even more about the kingdom of heaven. The thing is this, there are just about as many stories about the kingdom of heaven as there are people with ideas about what that might mean.

If I start a story with the kingdom of heaven is like… what do you think of? What would be the kingdom of heaven to you? For someone who has experienced oppression and violence the kingdom of heaven would be the smallest thing that is hidden and gives great life. Fort someone who is a merchant maybe the greatest pearl would be the one to possess. For someone trying to understand why others judge harshly the wheat and tares where there is no judgment but God’s makes sense.
The kingdom of heaven is like… this statement is dangerous because it can cause us to dream, to believe that the unbelievable might be possible. We talk so much about recognizing the end times and how we are living our lives or how we may be blessed that we lose sight of the kingdom now. Are we supposed to actually strive for the kingdom of heaven on this earth?

The kingdom of heaven is like… if we just start with this. If we just start really asking what is our picture of the kingdom of heaven could we start living it in our own lives, in our own corners of the world, in our own neighborhoods, churches, synagogues, mosques? There is so much wrong with the world, just as there was in Jesus day and the only way we may be able to begin is with the unimaginable, the crazy picture we have of what it is to be the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven is like… can you picture it? Can you live it? Can you plant the crazy impossible and see it become a tree? Can you use yourself as yeast to bring risen life to your community? Can you sell everything to possess the one thing that will mean the most? This is where the kingdom begins, do we dare to start it?