Today’s readings are Luke13:18-30, 1Thess4:1-2
In vs 18-21 Jesus tells a parable to show his hearers what the kingdom of God is like.The mustard seed is the smallest commonly known seed of the time and yet it grows into a tree. Similarly a small amount of yeast added to 3 measures of flour (enough bread for 100 people) permeates the dough causing in a large result. The Jews expected the “kingdom” to arrive for them with obvious fanfare or supernatural or even military might.The kingdom arrives with the almost unnoticed arrival of the King Jesus. His return or second coming on the other hand will be more like many expected the first to be. It will be unexpected but BIG and HE WILL BE NOTICED.
If you, like me, started your Christian journey in the 70’s as a teenager then the message of Jesus’ imminent return was commonly spoken off. Larry Norman (early Christian rocker) penned a his famous song “Wish we’d all been ready”. It really picked up the mood of the time but the truth nonetheless – What if it’s today? and and are you ready?
Jesus then goes on to to answer the question” Will only a few be saved”? He tells them the door to the kingdom is narrow. Indeed this door is himself. In some ways it is a small door, unexpected, the one many will walk by as they say ‘this can’t possibly be the way’.The many, expect to be saved but are told to depart and that they have no place in the kingdom.They will look on with unbearable turmoil as they are excluded and the unexpected gentiles (you and I) are in the kingdom. Makes this life seem very small!
I’ll finish with another 2 musical references, firstly from Colin Buuchanan “We’re all just passing through on the way to heaven”. As we do may we grab as many as we can because sadly they are on ” The Highway to Hell” (ACDC)