The Lectionary Gospel texts over the next few Sundays are some parables Jesus tells in Matthew Chapter 13. The parable of the soils, the parable of the weeds, the parable of the mustard seed, the parable of the yeast, the parable of the treasure, the parable of the merchant, the parable of the net, and treasures new and old. So many of Jesus’ parables to explore over the next few Sundays! Remember that a parable is a figure of speech that compares God’s kingdom, actions, or expectations to something in this world, real or imagined. So Jesus will say, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . . a mustard seed . . . yeast . . . treasure that somebody hid in a field.” And so on.
What I love about the parables of Jesus is that Jesus used everyday ordinary objects/situations/people to explain the divine. It was one thing for him to speak about the kingdom of heaven to his followers in an abstract metaphorical way, and it was quite another to begin with a story, “A farmer went out to scatter seeds . . .” All of a sudden, people are paying attention and listening intently. Maybe they’re farmers. Maybe they just had scattered seeds that very morning! And here’s Jesus comparing the kingdom of heaven to scattering seeds and casting nets and putting yeast in flour. Well hey I do that too! That must have been some of their reaction back then (and our reaction now) and that’s a really beautiful thing.
God is present in our lives in those mountaintop holy moments, sure. Though God is also present in the everyday, ordinary moments. When we go out and tend our garden. When we make food to eat. When we seek and find. It’s often been said that gratitude is the art of paying attention. Perhaps the parables help remind us that God shows up in the ordinary, everyday moments of life. And if we truly pay attention, there’s no knowing what we’ll discover.
(This Week’s Thoughts 7.9.20)