So about a month ago we had a special day called Mother’s Day (and I’m not just reminding people *cough* my kids *cough* that it’s Father’s Day next week), and for my wife my kids and I (read: just me) got this thing called an Aerogarden, which is basically this little garden that plants itself. All you do is add water and follow the instructions on the screen, and before you know it you have a bunch of plants growing in your house.
If you know me at all, you’ll know that my thumb has no recognizable shade of green in it at all (even that spot of fungus is more pink than green). I have no idea how to care for plants, and I have no idea what plant is even what. So this little bad boy seemed perfect (yes, I know it is a gift for my wife, but at least this way I can help too). I just do what the thing tells me to do, and we’re golden.
Well, what I didn’t account for is kids. Kids who like to stare at things, and often push buttons even when specifically told not to push buttons. One such button is a reset button. Also a settings button. And pretty much any button imaginable that will make this supposed easy process of growing plants not so easy anymore (at least for a total dunce like me). So you can imagine my frustration when after almost a month of having been planted, the system is telling me that it has only been a couple days. And also imagine my surprise when in spite of my gross inability to Art Knapp these plants, they still grew. They are pretty big, too.
In the words of the great theologian Ian Malcolm of the first Jurassic Park movie (played by another great theologian Jeff Goldblum): “Life (uh) finds a way”.
Now you might see why I was using this plant story up there. There is a lot of plant talk in the readings for next week, and I’ll admit that I don’t always understand why Jesus et al need to use such imagery, especially for those like me who don’t know a mustard plant from a mustard bush (and/or if they are the exact same thing). But in the gospel passage it says specifically that Jesus tells parables like this for people to understand as they are able, but yet we hear and read of how they still didn’t understand. They weren’t any closer in getting what the kingdom that Jesus was talking about is.
Well, maybe it isn’t about understanding.
Maybe it’s more about just imagining. Maybe it isn’t about controlling our lives, but allowing our lives to just live. Maybe it isn’t about knowing and dissecting everything that we know and hear but learning to just be.
The kingdom is like some plant that regardless of how well or not well you care for it, grows and flourishes and spreads and bears fruit and infects other plots of land which also produces more plants that grows and flourishes and so on and so forth. What I see here is that Jesus is saying the kingdom is organic, living and moving where it will, and basically… “finds a way”.
We may still not understand the kingdom, but the kingdom invites you. We will never be able to control the kingdom, but the kingdom welcomes you. We cannot ever stop the kingdom, and so the kingdom fills us with love, grace, and peace, and allows us to see God working in and around us, providing for us all that we need for life, relationship, and community.
Thanks be to God!
Have a great week, everyone!