As a pastor leading a Church through transition, I am considering the words of Jesus when he spoke about the kingdom of heaven in a way that both captures the imagination and challenges our understanding.
Remember how Jesus would begin his parables with, "The kingdom of heaven is like…" (Matthew 13:31, 33, 44, 45)? It's as if he was saying, "Come, sit with me for a moment. Let me share a glimpse of something that's beyond human words." Each parable painted a different picture, showing us that the kingdom of heaven isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. Jesus invites us to approach this divine kingdom with a humble heart, eager to learn and grow.
One of my favorite images Jesus used is that of a pearl. It starts as a tiny grain of sand inside a clam, almost an annoyance. But over time, layer upon layer of bright coating transforms that tiny irritant into a gem of great worth. Just like that, the kingdom of heaven might begin small in our lives, but it becomes a source of immense change and growth.
Jesus also reassures us of the kingdom's purity and endurance. Even when the enemy tries to sow weeds among the wheat, the kingdom stands firm, untouched and unfazed. It reminds me of the scientific principle of "conservation of mass." Even when water turns into ice or lava solidifies into rock, the substance remains the same. Similarly, the kingdom of God exists beyond the reach of any destructive force. It remains true and incorruptible, no matter what.
Now, picture Jesus leaning in, his voice soft but intense as he tells us, "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field… like a pearl of great price…" Here, Jesus was impressing upon us the sheer worth of the kingdom. Whether we stumble upon it or seek it intentionally, its value surpasses all else. It's a treasure worth giving up everything to possess.
What a lesson, right? The value of the kingdom, greater than anything we can fathom, demands our full pursuit. It asks us to let go of all that we hold dear—our wealth, status, even relationships—and instead, seek the kingdom first. But here's the beautiful part: in seeking the kingdom, we find a treasure that truly satisfies, one that meets all our needs (Matthew 6:33).
I love how C.S. Lewis put it: "He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only." There's deep wisdom in those words, and I invite you to ponder them as you go about your week.
The kingdom of heaven, my dear church family, is not just a place. It's a transformational journey, an unshakeable truth, and a treasure of inestimable value. Let's keep seeking it with all our hearts, with the faith that it's the most precious possession we could ever have. I invite you to visit this pursuit with us as we hold our first evening service at 6pm this Sunday!
Keep pursuing the kingdom, dear friends. You are always in my prayers.
Keep Looking Up,