Life and Action and Response
Why else would he talk about heaven in terms of farmers and fields and women baking bread and merchants buying and selling things and fisherman sorting fish, unless he meant somehow to be telling us that the kingdom of heaven has to do with these things, that our treasure is buried not in some exotic far off place that requires a special map but that “X” marks the spot right here, right now, in all the ordinary people and places and activities in our lives.—Barbara Brown TaylorIn tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus tells of the Kingdom of heaven by means of parables. Here are a few of them:
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.Lindy Black has written of these short takes on the coming kingdom saying,
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.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
It seems to me that the Kingdom of God is more of a verb than a noun; the reigning of God, more than the reign. Jesus is not really comparing the kingdom to 5 THINGS, but rather 5 ACTIONS. For example, he doesn't say that the kingdom of heaven is like A PEARL; he says it's like a merchant IN SEARCH OF pearls. It's like a mustard seed... that SOMEONE TOOK AND SOWED, like yeast... that a woman TOOK AND MIXED; like a treasure... that someone FOUND AND HID; like a net... THAT WAS THROWN. It may sound really obvious, but all of these THINGS are useless... unless they are used!
So the Kingdom of God is not some lifeless thing that we can look at and appreciate: it is life and action and response to God's call.
Labels: Gospel reading