Pastor’s going on vacation…this means I get to preach for two weeks in a row. And of course I get the last installment of the random “the Kingdom of Heaven is like…” parables told in Matthew. Both an over-used and a misunderstood concept, I think. Meanwhile, we haven’t talked much about the situation on the border with unaccompanied children coming in to the U.S. I’ve sort of followed the reflections and reactions of others via random facebook posts and conversation threads, but haven’t heard it come up in my congregation…at all.
So in the back of my mind are questions like, “what are the images that Jesus would use to explain the Kingdom of Heaven today?” and “What is the role of the church in the situation with unaccompanied children?”
To get me started in my thinking, I visited www.workingpreacher.org. There’s usually a nugget in the commentaries about the weekly readings that gets me thinking. I wasn’t disappointed. The commentary writer for this week’s text was someone I didn’t recognize, but I was intrigued by this comment: “The nesting birds point to the same vision. The “birds of the heaven” symbolize the people of the nations who have lived under oppression (Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6; Daniel 4:12). In this mustard seed they find welcome and hospitality that supports life rather than destroys it. The parable is a prophetic word both reinscribing and resisting Roman imperial visions.” Interesting to think about the ‘birds’ that are flocking across our borders at the moment, and whether they are finding “Kingdom trees” to nest in and find shelter.
Hmmm…dare I say something about that on Sunday?