Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Another story. " God's kingdom is like a pine nut that a
farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course
of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests
Another story. "God's kingdom is like yeast that a woman
works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread--and
waits while the dough rises."
"God's kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for
years and then accidently found by a trespasser. The finder is
ecstatic - what a find! - and proceeds to sell everything he
owns to raise money and buy that field.
"Or, God's kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt
for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately
sells everything and buys it.
"Or, God's kingdom is like a fishnet cast into the sea,
catching all kinds of fish. When it is full, it is hauled onto
the beach. The good fish are picked out and put in a tub; those
unfit to eat are thrown away That's how it will be when the curtain
comes down on history. The angels will come and cull the bad
fish and throw them in the garbage. There will be a lot of desperate
complaining, but it won't do any good."
Jesus asked, "Are you starting to get a handle on all this?"
They answered, "Yes."
He said, "Then you see how every student well-trained in
God's kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put
his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you
The missing material has been covered in the last couple of weeks.
This leaves a series of stories about the value and growth of
the presence of GOD. Are we starting to grasp how important dealing
with the vision of GOD is? The easy response is "yes,"
but we know that we are now back to what started all this story-telling
in the first place. Immediately after this Jesus goes back to
his hometown, back to the family of origin he could dismiss,
back to causing too much trouble for the home folk and too close
to them to be heard beyond their projections of who he should
It is almost as if Jesus through his story-telling talked himself
into believing he had what it took to go back and be more effective
with the home folk. It turned out that he didn't. It will turn
out that he was just as ineffective with the religious and political
Yet, even if it turns out that we are ineffective. The stories
do keep us going because if we don't give the home folk a second
chance, we have not lived up to our best. So let's tell the stories
again and again. Small seeds can grow and old dogs can learn
new tricks. Unclean yeast can be a blessing and the last can
become first. Treasures of all kinds can motivate to action and
still small voices of all kinds can rekindle purpose of life.
GOD is involved with everything, good and bad alike, and what
goes around will come around.
Having gotten some of this into our lives we can relax enough
to deal with situations as they arise without having to program
life around us. There are not just four steps (or seven or any
other number of steps) to conversion to living from above. We
don't deal with everyone in the same manner. With these and many
other stories we are set free to tell the most helpful story
for the situation we are living through. And tomorrow we can
tell a story with a whole different slant. The better trained
in story-telling we are the more we can be involved with individuals
and cultures. In fact we can tell the same story to different
people and for different purposes or different stories to the
same people to make the same point. With all these different
stories we can risk going where it is almost guaranteed that
we will fail. With all these different stories we find we are
renewed. Stories as a source of freedom - who would have guessed?!
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