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7.22.2008

Thy Kingdom Come: Ponderings for this coming Sunday's lectionary readings.

The gospel for this Sunday has a myriad of images for the kingdom of God. . . it is like a mustard seed, it is like yeast, it is like a treasure in the field, it is like a valuable pearl. And, early in the week, my mind is swirling in all of these images. Following are some of my thoughts - more random (or, at least, less polished) than usual. But, I am always interested in my readers thoughts; so, if any of this strikes you, please feel free to send a comment.

Thought A: In the first place, the sheer multitude of images - of mini-parables - seem ultimately to obscure the issue, not elucidate it! Instead of understanding what Jesus is saying, I want to find the common thread - in what way are a pearl, a mustard seed, a hidden treasure and yeast similar? Perhaps if I could identify the similar element, then I would have a clearer understanding of what God's kingdom will be like.

Thought B: Maybe Paul's letter to the Romans will be more helpful. He writes,

"we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

In the Lord's prayer, we say, "Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven." What a prayer! We don't even know what we are asking for and yet we ask for it - many of us every day. Why?

Thought C: Maybe the multitude of images are to remind us (a) that we can only see glimpses of the kingdom - for some of us we'll see it as the yeast that, once mixed with the flour, cannot be separated and together (yeast and flour) accomplish more than either can accomplish alone - and (b) that despite our inability to see clearly, we yearn for it so deeply that we pray for it daily.

Thought D: Don't worry about the kingdom that will come. Pay attention to the here and now - to the aspects of the kingdom that have already come.

Other ideas?

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