The Kingdom Is Like . . .

June 15th, 2012 Posted in writing

When you see that phrase in the gospels, you know that you’ll soon be hearing a parable or being presented with an image. It was Jesus’ favorite way of teaching, and it often left his hearers free to explore and expand what they’d heard from him.

The parable of the mustard seed is a classic. Jesus says that a mustard seed may start out small, but it grows into a great shrub where countless birds can find shelter. But there is something else in the parable, namely, the fact that the seed changes as it grows. It doesn’t grow into a giant version of itself (a “big seed”) but a bush capable of providing a home for countless birds.

I find help in this for dealing with changes in the church. For, though I’m generally not all that fond of changes, when it comes to living things, like people, families, institutions and even churches, growth seems to demand change.

And when change in the church gives people a more welcoming place to live, rest and be secure, then, even though it may take time to adapt to, the kingdom of God is growing.

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