Summary: Jesus described the coming kingdom of God through the windows of the parables. This sermon unpacks something of the meaning to the people then and to us now.
YOUR KINGDOM COME – Luke 8:4-14
News headlines today – THE TIMES 22nd February 2009
PARENTS TOLD: AVOID MORALITY IN SEX LESSONS
PARENTS should avoid trying to convince their teenage children of the difference between right and wrong when talking to them about sex, a new government leaflet is to advise.
Instead, any discussion of values should be kept “light” to encourage teenagers to form their own views, according to the brochure, which one critic has called “amoral”.
Talking to Your Teenager About Sex and Relationships will be distributed in pharmacies from next month as part of an initiative led by Beverley Hughes, the children’s minister.
The leaflet comes in the wake of the case of Alfie Patten, the 13-year-old boy from East Sussex who fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl and sparked a debate about how to cut rates of teenage parenthood.
I WROTE by text to the BBC : The nation that loses its spiritual roots in one generation loses its moral roots I the next. Committed Christians hold the hope for future generations.
QUESTION What do we make of this in the light of our prayer this morning: ‘Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’?
What is it that we are praying for when we pray, ‘ Your kingdom come’
If they had newspapers in Jesus’ time I have no doubt that one of the papers would run with a headline that reads something like:
Man claiming to be the Messiah claims ‘The Kingdom of God has arrived’
But as we have already seen:
• the ‘kingdom of God’ that Jesus announced was very different from the kingdom of God the people expected,
• to the same degree that the Messiah who came in the person of Jesus was different to the Messiah commonly expected by the people.
What was Jesus message to the people concerning the kingdom of God?
And what input or participation does God expect of us today as we pray, ‘Your kingdom come’?
READING Luke 8:4-15
Jesus described the message he was bringing as GOOD NEWS!
In the culture of the day this was a typical expression used to announce something significant such as a military victory, a wedding or the birth of a child.
In terms of the media this ranked at the very top of the stories of the day.
Today it would rank with news such as:
• The discovery of a way to restore a broken spinal cord
• An effective cure for all cancers
• The ability to produce limitless amounts of energy from cold fusion
Here Jesus announces the news that the Jews were expecting. Their hope to be restored to God as a people through whom the peoples of the world and creation itself would be redeemed had now arrived. God’s kingdom had come.
But instead of calling the people to devote themselves to the teaching of the Torah he calls them to centre their lives on Jesus himself, demanding total commitment and absolute loyalty.
He forms a community of disciples. Some travel with him. Others remain loyal in the homes such as Martha, Mary and Lazarus.
But as far as teaching about the kingdom of God is concerned, the parable was Jesus’ preferred way of teaching the people.