Written by Steven Liechty
Richard L. Floyd
"Jesus told them another parable, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.'" - Matthew 13:33
What is the kingdom of heaven like? Jesus said it is like the leaven that turns flour into bread; it's like a tiny seed that grows into a tree that birds can nest in. The kingdom of heaven is precious, like a field full of treasure or a pearl of great price that one sells everything to obtain.
I pray for God's kingdom to come every time I worship, but I don't expect to see it fully realized in my lifetime. I could be wrong. But I do believe in it, and sometimes there have been incandescent moments in history and in my own life where I have caught glimpses of it. How would I describe these?
"The kingdom of heaven is like . . ."
- Marian Anderson singing and Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial
- Pope John Paul II forgiving the man who tried to assassinate him
- The Berlin Wall coming down
- The end of apartheid in South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- The beginning of peace in Northern Ireland
- The baptism of my children and the ordination of my daughter
- Sitting at table with my extended family around a roast leg of lamb on Easter Sunday
- Receiving the bread and the cup in the presence of the Risen Christ
Singing "Come, thou font of every blessing" with our congregation
My list is not exhaustive, but suggestive. Where do you catch glimpses of the kingdom?
Holy One, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and author of A Course In Basic Christianity and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: Reflections on the Atonement. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.