It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Heaven on Earth, a Reflection on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Ezekiel spoke to the exiles in Babylon. "You deserve every punishment; yet, I will forgive you. I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar, plant it on a high mountain so that it will produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar. Under it every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind" Ezekiel 16:59-17:24.

Jesus tells a similar parable.
  • a small beginning, a great and very visible outcome
  • a source of sustenance
  • a promise of protection, a homeplace
Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. That's Matthew's way of saying that he's talking to those closest to him. he has, at their request, explained the parable of the weeds to them. His explanation ends with a ominous vision of what will happen when the weeds are plucked out of the kingdom (13:36-43).

He then describes the kingdom of heaven in three parables. The kingdom of heaven is like a valuable treasure that has been hidden. It's like a pearl worth all that one owns. It's like a net thrown into the sea that catches fish of every kind, good and bad.

When he asks the disciples if they have understand this teaching, they respond, "Yes."

I think I do, too. When Jesus is describing the Kingdom of Heaven, he's not restricting his discussion to an afterlife. He's talking about here and he's talking about now. Review the Lord's Prayer.

When God rules your entire life, what would your life be like? If the church went about its affairs in the way that God intended for it to do, what would such a church be like? What would the lives of those touched by the church be like?

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