Summary: The sermon focus on the Kingdom of Heaven/God. Further, it reflects that we may sow the seed of love to accommodate the poor, the migrant, and we may mix the yeast of love to reach out to insignificant and needy people, building the Kingdom of Heaven/God wherever we are and whatever we do.
The Kingdom of Heaven/God
Let us begin reflecting on the text...from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 13:24-30):
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep
his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat,
and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit,
the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The text begins with the famous and popular words, “the Kingdom of Heaven”.
Do we know what the Kingdom of Heaven/God is?
I was preparing for my theology comprehensive exam (final exam) after studying theology for three years.
As I was studying and preparing for the comprehensive exam, the question that often-kept recurring in my mind was: what is the Kingdom of Heaven/God?
I went about not only reflecting on the question that raised within me but also seeking the answer for the same from my theology professors.
None of the answers that were given by my theology professors, satisfied me or gave me the conviction that this is the Kingdom of Heaven/God.
It made me to reflect on the question with more intent.
I studied during my school days that there were so many kingdoms in the history of the world.
Nevertheless, there is none that exist with same power, authority and territory at present like it was in the past.
Every kingdom in the history, had the beginning and the end.
At the same time, we preach the Kingdom of Heaven/God, every day in our life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, which was begun by Jesus Himself during His Mission on the earth.
How can the Kingdom of Heaven/God be distinguished from the kingdom of the earth/human?
As a Christian, we possess two distinguished qualities.
They are: 1. Love, and 2. Forgiveness.
God loves us and forgives us.
For God, it does not matter who we are.
God continues His Kingdom by loving and forgiving us in spite of our brokenness and weakness.
God established the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth when He said, “I love you” as we read in the Gospel of John (John 3:16):
“For God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone
who believes in him
might not perish
but might have eternal life.”
To express love, we need two persons.
One person to give and the other person to receive.
Love is not one sided.
Love gives and receives.
Love treats the other equally.
God loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ.
And love was the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven/God.
St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13:1-13), explains what love really means.
Secondly, the Kingdom of Heaven, which was begun by our God in and through Jesus Christ, is ‘eternal’.
There is no end.
Jesus continued the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth on behalf of His Father and urged each of His disciples to continue loving and forgiving in their lives.
By dying on the Cross for us all, when we were still sinners, He has shown by His very life what love and forgiveness mean.
That is the reason, we continue His Kingdom in our everyday life, loving Him back and loving & forgiving our neighbours by our words and deeds in our lives.
So, I would like to put it in straightforward words, what I understand the Kingdom of Heaven is:
“God loves us in and through Jesus Christ and we love Him back in and through our neighbours.”
This act of love continued more than two thousand years and will continue eternally.
There is no end for love.
Love is eternal and so the Kingdom of Heaven/God is eternal.
In addition, I would say that the Kingdom of Heaven/God, is ‘the Kingdom of Love’.
Now, we know what distinguishes the Kingdom of Heaven/God and the kingdom of earth/human.
Moreover, we come to know for sure why kingdom of earth/human ended with authority and power, and why the Kingdom of Heaven/God continues...till now with love and forgiveness.
Having said what the Kingdom of Heaven/God is for me, let me reflect with you on the text from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 13:24-33).