One of our wonderful teenagers taught the children at Vacation Bible School this week that parables use earthly concepts to express heavenly ideas. I like the way she helped the children put that together. It's true that Jesus' parables took what was commonplace - a man who had two sons, a lost coin, a mustard seed and used those to help people get some notion of the kingdom of God. It's also true that the heavenly ideas aren't meant to stay separated from earth or to remain something longed for in the great by-and-by, but to show the in-breaking of the kingdom among us right here and now.
If you worried that God wouldn't welcome you back and thought, at best, that would be available to you upon your death, the story of the man and his two sons is a way to recognize God is loving, merciful, and welcoming right now (Luke 15:11-32). If you feel as though you or someone else is modestly valuable, but not so much that God or his disciples would go out of their way to find and restore and care for you, then check out Luke 15:1-10. And if you have come to think the kingdom of God has gone dormant, perhaps the parables we'll hear on Sunday (Mark 4:26-34) will remind you to look around with more expectation.
The kingdom is coming whether we're tending it or not and it's growing like a weed that can do mighty things.
Join us this Sunday as we celebrate God's kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven.