This morning if you are looking for a word from God then you will find it here.
There is much that is given to us in today’s Bible readings.
Our readings for today our rich with meaning and significance.
Solomon asking for wisdom and then receiving it from the Lord.
The Psalmist who celebrates God’s teachings and God’s law.
Paul naming the truth that nothing can separate us from God’s love.
And finally, Jesus giving us one parable after another on the mystery and the wonder of the kingdom of God.
Truly, yes, from God’s Word today there is much for us to receive.
How do you hear these beautiful texts?
How are these readings speaking to you this morning?
After worship today would you speak to someone about these Bible readings?
When you read the Bible, it is important to keep two things in mind.
First, think about the context in which the reading was told.
Remember that the Bible comes out of both a Jewish and a Christian background.
And secondly, remember that God’s Word is a living Word.
It speaks to us today and addresses what we are experiencing right now.
God’s Word always applies to what we are going through and with what we are experiencing in life.
For example, whenever I read Scripture, I consider how God’s Word is speaking to me in the moment and how God’s Word might impact my choices and maybe even influence my feelings with something that I am currently facing in life.
With this in mind let’s dig a little deeper into our Gospel reading while trusting that God’s Word is speaking to us right now.
In the Gospel of Matthew chapter thirteen Jesus preaches five short parables.
A parable about a mustard seed.
A parable about yeast and flour.
A parable about a hidden treasure.
A parable about fine pearls.
And a parable about a net and a catch of fish.
These short parables teach us lessons about God.
At the time that Jesus told these parables the listeners would have been both shocked and surprised at how Jesus used such unlikely metaphors to teach great truths about God and about God’s kingdom.
Today some two thousand years later we might feel the same way.
We live in a world that often treats God as irrelevant.
Sadly, in our culture Sunday morning is no longer seen as a holy time set aside in order to give God thanks and to remember God’s laws.
I am saddened that in the world Sunday has simply become a time of pleasure and relaxation without any thought or care towards God and God’s ways.
But these parables teach us that we are to enter into a new paradigm shift.
Jesus uses simple images to direct our focus on seeing a new world, which is the kingdom of God, in which God is ultimate and everything for us.
These parables call us to have faith in the One who is at work in our lives even though human eyes may fail to see what God is doing.
These parables stress our response and commitment to God’s loving hand upon us.
The kingdom of God comes about through God’s doing.
The kingdom of God is not something that can be acquired or bought rather it is found and received.
The kingdom of God is something that we enter into with faith and trust.
These parables instruct us in that the kingdom of God is something that we are to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to with complete obedience to God.
Our faith in God and in God’s kingdom -which is God’s world is not something to be taken lightly.
The kingdom of God, which was initiated by Jesus, is God’s good and gracious rule.
It is something that we participate in with everything that we do.
A cook runs his restaurant in the way that Jesus would want the restaurant to be run.
A mechanic runs his business in the way that Jesus would want the business to be run.
A painter paints as Jesus would want the artist to create.
A teacher teaches with the wisdom that is given by God.
A musician preforms as God directs her to make music.
A leader leads with the guidance that comes from the Lord.
A pastor preaches in and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A mother parents with an understanding heart that comes from God.
We live our lives faithfully to God as if we are doing our work and living our lives for God.
For that is what we are doing we live our lives for God- always for God.
Our participation in God’s kingdom is followed through by the work that we do with our lives and by the ways that we honor God.
Remembering that we are always a part of something greater that began in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Life can be very difficult.
But we are kingdom people.
We are apart of God’s kingdom right now and we will live in God’s kingdom after the eschaton, when the world comes to an end and Jesus saves God’s people for God’s future world.
We are welcomed into God’s kingdom and nothing can separate us from God’s love.
In life we will face losses and we will grieve.
In our country many people have recently lost loved ones due to the coronavirus.
My family has been impacted by this virus.
My Uncle Harold died from the coronavirus.
He had underlying health issues and when he came down with coronavirus it was just too much for his body.
His wife, Carol tested positive for the coronavirus as well.
She survived the virus but he didn’t.
Now she is left with the grief and the pain of losing her husband while still trying to figure out how to plan for a memorial service.
In seminary it was required to read a little book called, “All our Losses and All our Griefs.”
To be human is to experience loss and to feel great grief that grief is a lifelong human experience.
None of us are immune to these feelings.
I once heard someone say that the real reason we die is because no one can ultimately withstand all the cumulative buildup of loss and grief over a lifetime.
Regardless with whether that is true or not it is true that we live in a world of pain and suffering.
But the good news that we receive from God’s Word today is that we are invited into a different kind of world.
It is a world of peace and joy and love that Jesus calls us into.
It is a kingdom where nothing and no power can ever separate us from God’s love.
It is a kingdom that is recognized and discovered here and now and fully experienced in the age to come.
It is so wonderful that it is worth leaving behind all that we have in order to come into this new kingdom.
It is a great place where my Uncle Harold along with all the saints in life can dwell and find peace.
What a remarkable Word of hope and promise that we have from God this morning.