The extraordinary in the ordinary
Text study Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Lectionary text for July 24, 2011
Have you ever had someone tell you they were a cafeteria (enter religious affiliation here)? They pick and choose what looks good to them and leave what does not.
This week the Gospel text offers us a "cafeteria style" view of God in the ordinary -- if we are willing to see all the little things that surround us and to dig through the filler of our lives.
In the text, we see the ways that God is breaking into the world. We are led to ask ourselves, "What speaks to us that is relevant and authentic to the 21st century world we live in?"
Jesus speaks through many parables thrown together. Whether you identify with a mustard seed, yeast, a pearl, treasure hidden in a field or a fishing net, God leads us to look through the "filler" that is around us and see the treasures hidden beneath.
Jesus reveals the joy that comes when we find something priceless in the midst of the ordinary -- when we are open to the unlikely places that we find God’s presence.
We often expect the real riches of God in something extraordinary. But, Jesus suggests that God is alive in the world even in the smallest and most unlikely things.
Jesus asks us, "In what unlikely places do we find God?" It may not be in the extraordinary experience we may yearn for, but in and through the ordinary things we experience every day.
The breaking in of God into the world need not be a place, time or object through which we experience the presence of God, but in our very lives.
Each of us is a living, breathing "field" filled with the priceless treasures of Jesus and called by God to share those treasures within us far and wide, to scatter the seed that God has placed in each of us to the world we are privileged to dwell in -- a world that is in desperate need of seeds of hope, forgiveness, grace and love.
• Which parable/s is speaking to you this week?
• What gets in the way of you seeing God in unlikely places?
• How do we let go of our expectations about how God appears in our lives to hear this passage in a different way?
Robert Hegdal is the lead pastor at Prince of Glory Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Madison Heights, Mich.