Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Devotions - The Kingdom is like Yeast.

He told them still another parable; "The kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it was worked all through the dough." Matthew 13:33

I came across this Bible passage the other day and honestly had a difficult time understanding it. Heaven is small? We have to wait a long time for Heaven? I looked up some commentary on it and found the following explanation very helpful.

Jesus insists that the glorious anticipated kingdom of God is also present in a hidden way in his ministry and that of his followers. These parables most clearly declare that God's kingdom has arrived in some sense in Jesus' ministry, in a hidden and anticipatory way. Far from baptizing the wicked in fire and overthrowing the nations at his first coming, Jesus came as a meek servant, wandering around Galilee with a group of obscure disciples and healing some sick people.

So in some sense God's kingdom is already all of us.

In a world characterized by political turmoil and filled with wandering teachers nad magicians, Jesus' intial arrival as a politically inconspicuous servant had rendered his mission as opaque as his parables, except to people of faith.

God's kingdom is here but difficult to grasp except those with faith.

Despite the magnitude of the task before us, we dare not despise the "smallness" of our own works, for God's entire program long ago came hidden in a small package.

Yeast comes in small packages too. I shared a bread recipe with you Friday that only uses 1/4 teaspoon of yeast but has to rise for 12 to 18 hours!! I was skeptical when I first found that recipe but it is by far the most satisfying bread I've ever made. But with a rising time of 18 hours I have to plan ahead when I choose to make this bread; it's a long term committment.

The kingdom of Heaven is a long term committment too. It's something we have to be patient for but give our life to everyday. In the great scheme of things we are all 'small' like yeast. We don't have to make grandiose gestures to God. Our small works, over time, can amount to great things even if they are hidden from others eyes.

Dear God, Thank You for reminding us that we aren't insignificant in Your eyes. Even our smallest gestures are seen by You. Thank You for the promise of Your Kingdom to come and help us be patient in waiting for it. Amen.

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