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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Today’s Reading | Matthew 13:44–52

“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.

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

“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And 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.” (NRSV)

Do you ever notice that after Jesus tells a story that may be heavy or hard to hear for those around him, he often “drops the mic” and goes off on his own? In this instance, the scripture states that “he left that place.” Jesus doesn’t stay on for a Q&A session. He doesn’t linger for critique or comments. He simply leaves. Maybe he needs some “me” time. Or maybe he was the master of knowing when too much was too much in and through his teaching.

I wonder what I would say to a person if they asked me to describe what I feel the “kingdom of heaven” is like. Would I have the courage to express myself? Would I need to tell a story, like Jesus, to get my point across? Would it take many words or few words? Jesus seems to be able to do off-the-cuff and in-depth explanations of things that might well take me a month to work over. What would you say that the “kingdom of heaven” is like? Could you whip out a tweet-like answer?

I tend to not ask of others something that I wouldn’t want to attempt myself. So here goes: My kingdom of heaven is like a world where no one lacks food or water, clothing, or shelter.

Gracious and loving God, in our effort to continually move toward a new heaven and a new earth, may we better know your will for our world today, here and now. Amen.

Written by Mark Eldred
Worship Coordinator and Interim Director of Adult Education

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