Do you experience the best God offers? If God reigns and brings His kingdom to earth why does the fruit of God’s work seem so slow and small, and evil seems to triumph? Many of us hope to experience His grace and power in ways that transform our character, our church, and the society around us. Yet often (it seems!) our faith falls short, our prayers go unanswered, and we repeatedly struggle with sin. We might even begin to doubt the power and goodness of God’s kingdom.
Jesus promised us the Kingdom of God, i.e. not the just the forgiveness of sins (fabulous enough!) but the power of God infused into every dimension of life (physical, social, spiritual, ethnic, economic) healing all brokenness and alienation and establishing God’s order of perfection, righteousness and love. He told His followers, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand (near!)” and the “The kingdom of heaven is in your midst”! Yet, Jesus warned His followers that life on earth incudes tribulation, persecution, and various kinds of suffering. Jesus’ followers in his day, and ours, struggle with the disparity between God’s promised reign and our experience, as though God’s kingdom arrived but not yet.
Jesus revealed God’s Kingdom in parables: stories, metaphors, and figures of life that teach lessons. Matthew 13 says He taught with parables to communicate the mysteries of God’s Kingdom – i.e. the surprising and unexpected ways of God’s Kingdom that differ from our expectations and experience. No wonder Jesus stressed the importance of our hearing and understanding when He told a parable – these gems help us understand God’s kingdom and experience the life Jesus offers even as we struggle with evil in us and around us.
Join us on Sunday mornings this summer as we wrestle with some of the parables of Jesus and strive to enjoy the mysteries of God’s Kingdom.
June 28th: The parable of the Sower – Matthew 13:1- 23
July 5th: The parable of the Weeds- Matthew 13:24-30 and 36 – 43
July 12th: The parable of the Unforgiving Servant – Matthew 18:21-35 (Pastor Brian)
July 26th: The parable of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl – Matthew 13:44-46
August 2nd: : The parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard – Matthew 20:1 -16
August 9th: – The parable of the Wedding Feast – Matthew 22:1-14
August 16th: Guest Brian Friedl
August 23rd – The parable of the Two Sons and Tenants – Matthew 21:28-46 (Pastor Brian)
August 30th – The parable of the Ten Virgins – Matthew 25:1- 13
September 6th – The parable of the Talents – Matthew 25:14 – 30