Mothers’ Union Devotion – Sunday 26th July
A mediation on Matthew’s Gospel 13.31-33,44-52
Today’s reading from Matthew’s gospel contains 6 parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom is likened to a mustard seed, yeast, buried treasure, a pearl of great value, a dragnet for fishing and a merchant who uses both old and new treasure. These images are used to illustrate how vast is the potential for growth, how desirable and precious almost beyond financial value, how discerning between good and evil and how full of wisdom is the kingdom of heaven. Some images seem just as contemporary today, such as how little yeast is needed to leaven a whole loaf of bread. Whereas others seem to belong to dreams of the past. I do not know when any of you last dug for buried treasure, but I suspect it was probably in your childhood.
This does not mean that we cannot get a feel for what Jesus is trying to tell us. Maybe, however, if we are trying to get across what the kingdom is like to those in our communities outside of the church, we could try to rewrite these parables using contemporary images. After all, the scribes who are called to teach about the kingdom of heaven, are told to use old and new treasure. Even yeast has been supplanted in many bakeries in favour of a sourdough starter culture.
So, what would be of great value to you in the way the pearl was to the merchant searching for pearls of fine value? Is there something you have always wanted, a diamond necklace, a sports car, a bigger house or maybe something less material, more time to spend with family and friends, restoration of your health, the chance to visit a special place again? The sense of longing we have for our own personal desires can be much better illustrations for how precious and valuable finding the kingdom of heaven is for us. If we can hold onto that sense of preciousness when we are speaking to others maybe our enthusiasm will be catching. Families will hopefully think – we want to know more about this thing that makes Mothers’ Union members so joyful.
And where do you see growth at the rate of the mustard seed? It might be the weeds in your garden or the development of your tiny grandchild from a baby into a teenager in what seems like the blink of an eye. Being able to sit back and discern the development of each child into their own personality, looks and expression, gives us an image of the infinite variety of people who make up the kingdom of heaven. Helping us realise that everyone we meet, could find a home in God’s kingdom if they were just able to grasp that it can grow big enough to hold everyone.
So, go on have fun – try rewriting these six parables?
Lots of love and prayers,