Reflections - Last Week

Reflection  -  7th Sunday after Trinity  -  Training for the Kingdom

Last Sunday, Revd. Lynda  wrote about the Kingdom parables, describing them as “little explosions of thoughts”.  Well, this week, we have some more in today’s gospel.  Jesus describes in quick succession what the Kingdom of heaven is like:    a mustard seed,  yeast or leaven, treasure hidden in a field,  the finest of pearls,  and  good fish amongst the not so good.

Then he asks the disciples to whom he is speaking:  Have you understood all this? and they answer Yes.  Jesus continues that they are like the scribes, the educated people, who are in training for the Kingdom of heaven.

Gyms and  Leisure Centres open on Monday for the first time since the end of March.   People use them to train, to keep fit, to look after their bodies, to make themselves strong and healthy.  It’s interesting that Jesus uses the analogy of training for us, his disciples, on our journey or pilgrimage.  We have a purpose and that is nothing less than to build the Kingdom of heaven.  We therefore need to understand what these kingdom parables are about.

In the case of the mustard seed, the leaven and the treasure hidden in the field they all represent something tiny and insignificant or hidden which has the potential to grow into something magnificent and protective, nourishing, in the case of bread, and beyond any worldly value known to us.   In the case of the priceless pearl and the good and bad fish in the sea of the world , again things which are more valuable than we could possibly have imagined are of value to God.

Our training for the Kingdom of heaven has never needed to stop despite the Lockdown. Yes our church buildings may be closed and we are fasting from receiving communion, but we are still in training for the Kingdom of heaven.  We bring out our treasure of old and new in order to do this.  The old might be our reading of the Bible, listening to hymns, reading reflections and praying, the new perhaps is our digital meeting, streamed on line  services from other churches and new ways of receiving information from our Bishops and others in the Diocese through their You tube reflections.

How is your training?  Are you keeping fit for building the Kingdom?  Do not underestimate the tiny seed which may be planted in you and which through God’s grace will grow.  One day last week I set off on my bike enjoying the glorious Northamptonshire countryside.  Coming up the hill from Silverstone into Whittlebury I took a rest and probably looked a somewhat forlorn sight. ( I was rather tired! )  So much so that a lady who passed me in her car took the time to turn around and drive back down the hill to check that I was alright. That little act of kindness or explosion of thoughtfulness has stuck with me this week.

Our Epistle reading is one to hold fast to in this time of uncertainty and perhaps anxiety.  Paul’s  text in Romans 8 is  central to our Christian faith, so much so,  that it is often read at the beginning of a funeral service as a deep reminder that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God, not even death.  Paul himself has experienced every hardship which he mentions and yet he remains “in Christ “.  All of us will experience moments of doubt and uncertainty, lack of vision as to how we can be God’s Church in this place at this time.  Romans 8. verses 28-30 remind us that  ‘ God is for us,  all things contribute toward the good of those who are called and who love God’.  God intends good even in a world enslaved to the Covid 19 virus.  God did not withhold his Son from us and so Paul confidently concludes that  nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

In your training to meet our Lord, what can you hold on to from the old and what can you embrace in new ways to make you fit for the Kingdom of God and to build his Kingdom now?

Reflection  7th Sunday after Trinity  -   Training for the Kingdom


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