Summary: A sermon about living in the Kingdom.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
“If You Miss This You Miss It All”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
Returning home from Kindergarten one day a boy ran into the house and excitedly told his mother, “I found a dollar bill on the sidewalk as I was walking home from school!”
“Where is it,” the boy’s mother asked. “Let me see.”
“I don’t have it,” the boy responded, “I’ll pick it up tomorrow.”
You can guess that the child never did obtain that dollar bill.
How many of us have this kind of non chalant attitude toward God’s Church, God’s Kingdom, Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and what we are to do about it?
In the parables we just read this morning Jesus says over and over again, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”
And in each of these parables Jesus points to a different aspect of the Kingdom of heaven.
The Mustard Seed points to the Kingdom’s small beginnings.
The Yeast shows how the Kingdom can transform the world.
And the parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl tell us that the Kingdom is the Ultimate Treasure of Life and Reality…
….such an Ultimate Treasure, that when one finds it—one is to sell all one has in order to possess it!!!
It’s that important!!!
When we come upon the Kingdom, we can’t just walk away telling ourselves we will “pick it up tomorrow.”
If you miss the Kingdom of Heaven—You miss everything!!!
All this talk about the Kingdom of Heaven may cause us to ask, “What is the Kingdom of Heaven anyway?”
In Luke Chapter 17, Jesus says: “the kingdom… is within you.”
The Kingdom is spiritual and internal.
In Europe we toured many old and ornate ‘churches.”
At one point, our guide had to hush me a bit.
He said, “Quite, we’re about to enter the church.”
To which I replied, “I thought the Church was the people.”
It was in jest, and we all got a kick out of that.
God’s Kingdom has nothing to do with the material.
It’s not so much concerned with the afterlife as it is with the here and the now!
It is the answer to the ultimate question: “Is this life absurd or does it have purpose?”
It enables persons, who are dealing with the greatest of adversity to live triumphantly!!!
It ushers in the peace which surpasses all understanding and the joy that doesn’t make any sense—no matter what is going on in the outside world.
It is the Treasure people are looking for.
It is the Power for Living a fulfilling and meaningful life!!!
It is EVERYTHING!
And it is available to all of us through the life, death, resurrection and eternal triumphant reign of Jesus Christ!!!
It’s right inside you!
Have you found it?
The Parable of the Mustard Seed points to the Kingdom’s small beginnings.
When we find the Kingdom it is like the smallest of all seeds…
…but if we plant it into our lives…
…into how we live, work and play…
…into how we interact with our friends, neighbors, enemies…
And the longer we cultivate it--the more our lives become clothed with Jesus Christ’s “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
We are, after all, people with ‘Messy Lives’ joining hands with other people with ‘Messy Lives’ in order to follow Jesus!!!
The Kingdom of Heaven is like that…
One of the coolest things about the Kingdom of Heaven is that it’s not just about you and I!
It is about everyone in the entire world!!!
It’s about living selflessly in a very selfish and “me-generated” world.
It’s about loving others—even more than we love ourselves.
It’s about giving our lives so others can love and live.
When we cultivate that Mustard Seed which lives inside of us…we are doing this as much for others as we are doing this for ourselves.
Because eventually, others will find rest, solace, forgiveness and ultimately—Jesus—through our lives!
Is life absurd or does it have purpose?
What do you think?
You answer that question by what you do with the treasure of God’s Kingdom!!!
Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Our world, our community is filled with people who are walking around like the living, breathing dead!
Many folks find little or no true joy in life.
Lot’s of people walk around with a chip on their shoulder—ready to spring at others with anger at the slightest of opportunities.
They are miserable.
They have not found the Treasure hidden in the field.
They are not aware of any large mustard trees where they can perch in the branches.