With what shall we compare the realm of God?
It is like a dream that is out-of-season and planted for another day. Hidden away it germinates & wonders, roots & grows, until one day it erupts from its hiding place to bloom and be harvested. (Mark 4:26-29)
With what shall we compare kin-dom of God?
It is like the terrible confrontation of Christ’s judgment seat, before which our hearts are known and through which we are compelled to live no longer for ourselves but for Christ and one another. (2 Corinthians 5:10-17)
With what shall we compare the reign of God?
It is like a people in search of a king, certain that they want the best-looking candidate, the most athletic citizen, the smoothest-talking white man, the greatest military strategist, the tallest & cleanest-cut politician … but are surprised by the choice of a grubby shepherd with songs in his eyes. (1 Samuel 16:1-13)
With what shall we compare the domain of God?
It is like hope that does not keep you waiting, like help that answers even before your heart breaks, like joy that is more triumphant that a victorious battle, like protection that anoints you like a crown. (Psalm 20)
With what will you compare the work of God?
Are you preaching stories of possibility this coming Sunday? Are you illuminating the Good News through agricultural metaphors? Do you imagine modernizing the metaphors of this Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts for the 21st century — maybe a xylophone instead of a lyre (Psalm 92), maybe an inflatable life raft instead of a mustard seed (Mark 4:30-32)?
Share your pondering and sermonizing with your colleagues as you prep for this coming Sunday’s preaching moment!
Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, blogger, and soccer mom. Her newest book is Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith) with co-author Martha Spong.
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