Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Messy, Mysterious Kingdom

            There is a reason the Magic Kingdom is called “the happiest place on earth.” It is clean, fun and the good guys always win in the end. Even many of the bad guys are comical and, dare I say it, lovable.

            That is pretty much what people want in a kingdom, the Magic Kingdom where things always go their way. That is not the kingdom that Jesus created and is bringing to fulfillment. Listen to the things Jesus says as he describes his kingdom…

            “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

            What a mess. A diligent farmer sows good seed in a well prepared field and expects it to do the work of growing and producing a harvest. Without his knowledge an enemy comes and sows tares along with the wheat. This is not noticed at first, of course, because there was no growth. But eventually someone noticed the problem. His servants had a great solution, just pull out the weeds, but the master would have none of that because the wheat might be destroyed along with the weeds. Patience was the order of the day and the wheat and tares would simply grow together. What a mess!

            “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

            People have long marveled how such mighty plants can come from such small seeds.. The seed, small as it is, has everything it needs inside itself to produce something that is radically different from the seed itself. There is a mystery to life that remains secretive despite the remarkable strides in our understanding

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Sixty pounds of flour mixed with the necessary water would create over one hundred pounds of dough. A little yeast makes that large lump of dough into something else entirely. There is mystery here.

While Jesus might enjoy a day at the Magic Kingdom, it is not the kingdom he is building for his family. Rather his kingdom is messy and mysterious. He resists our simple solutions for dealing with good and evil, preferring to give good and evil every opportunity to become what he intended at creation. He does not instruct us on the inner workings of the kingdom or the mind of God, preferring rather to call us to greater trust!

The messy and mysterious kingdom sounds a lot like life! Are you trusting God with the mess and the mystery?

                                                                                                - Kenny Payne

No comments: