Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Kingdom of Heaven

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus tells several short parables to explain what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. For example,
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.
Brian Stoffregen of Faith Lutheran in Marysville, California offers his thoughts on this parable at Crossmarks Christian Resources
I read this suggested modern version of the parable: "A man left his family and work and all that he had, in order to follow a pretty woman. The kingdom of heaven is like that."

While we normally assume that giving up everything for a pretty woman (or handsome man) is foolishness or uncontrollable lust or blind infatuation; I think there are similarities with being grasped by the desire to have the treasure in the field (or the pearl of great value in the next parable). I have seen people give up family and jobs because they had been grasped by alcohol or other addictive drugs. I had started to write, "they have turned their lives over to ...." But, at least with addictive substances, it is not a "turning over" so much as the drugs or alcohol grabs one's life and takes it away. The addictive substances (or lustful desires) take control of one's life -- and leaves one "out of control." Should we say that the kingdom of heaven is like that? It takes control of our lives.

The kingdom of God is not a treasure we possess. It is something that grasps us.


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