Lots of Kingdom Parables

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we are on land of the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We are awed that they celebrate the religious significance of place, plant and all living creatures; and that care for the earth is implanted in their law. We honour them and also delight in the sacred in our midst. We pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit we might work together for reconciliation and justice in this land

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 NRSV

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

31 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’

The Parable of the Yeast

33 He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’

Three Parables

44 ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Treasures New and Old

51 ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ 52And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’

Reflection

So from all these parables what have we learnt about the kingdom of God?

  • Not obvious
  • Of miraculous extravagance
  • highly desirable, as its of the greatest value
  • we will be accountable

Often the kingdom is seen as the Church, and that these parables and Jesus teaching about the kingdom, guarantees the success of the Church. That would be a mistake.

The kingdom of God is not the church, there are no guarantees. As the Church we are to be active in the kingdom as it is with us but not obvious. Yet we are to be vigilant as the Kingdom is not here yet.

So what does that mean, living in two states of being. All we can do is live faithfully, be loving, show compassion and seek justice in our dealing with others. To be open to the kingdom around you and be confident that the kingdom will come.

Prayer

Loving God,
we praise you for the opportunity to gather in worship.
Open our hearts as we bring ourselves before you in humble desire to follow your ways and know your wisdom.
Open our eyes and help us see how our lives impact others and this created world.
Open our ears and help us to hear the voices of those who have been silenced for too long.
Open our minds and help us to understand our impact on the world and our more rightful place in it.
Show us your glory, and guide our thoughts and reflections as we worship, we pray. Amen.