Hi DC I'm James, today’s reading is from Matthew 13:31-33 and 44-46.
“Parable of the Mustard Seed
31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”
When I read these verses I become really excited about the Kingdom of Heaven. I think it has to be said that the Kingdom of Heaven looks different for each one of us. Sometimes connotations we have of ‘the kingdom’ can be quite aggressive; a mixture of the idea deliverance and someone being very ‘shouty’. But I think that these passages really bring a beauty to the concept of the Kingdom of Heaven. Here we see three parables discussing, what I feel are different aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven that make those connotations pale into insignificance.
1) The Kingdom of God grows:
Some of us may feel like we have been hurt by church, and the effects of this can dwindle our faith. Sometimes we feel we don’t have much to give in the ‘God department’ or are feeling very weak faith wise. However, the Kingdom of God is like a small seed that grows. I find hope in the fact that what I might see is a small seed of faith in my life, but it has the potential to be the ‘largest of gardens.’
2) The Kingdom of God is precious
The Kingdom of God here is bought at a great price. People want it and yet we are a part of it. We are in the ‘in crowd’. So often LGBT+ people of faith feel excluded by the kingdom, yet we have access to this precious kingdom, just as anybody else does.
So in response let us remember that we are part of an kingdom in which every person is allowed to participate, one that does not carry conditions of entering! And let us be thankful that we follow the king of this kingdom who constantly extends the welcome with arms wide open.
For this evening, try to spend some time in prayer, thanking Christ for extending this welcome to us, and let us pray for ourselves, and for others in rejoicing in the invitation