Karen Jordan greeted me on Sunday morning as I was entering the Welcome Center to prepare for worship. The morning was July sultry so I joked that it would be nice to have A/C where she was standing. What happened next took me by surprise. As I entered the Welcome Center I walked into the mountains and I literally felt the temperature in my body drop. How could this be?
Billie Bothwell, Allison Shearouse, and their creative team had transformed the Welcome Center, Narthex, and Sanctuary into a Mt. Everest adventure for VBS this week at JCPC. Their work had a parabolic action of taking the expected, in this case the ritual of Sunday morning, and by adding a different type of story, the Everest adventure, creating an entirely new reality. I must confess that I felt like a child viewing the mountains, tents, camp fires, and so much more. I became giddy!
Jesus' parables worked this way. He takes a common story such as a sower sowing seeds, a woman baking bread, or a shepherd watching sheep and by adding a new element to the story he invites us to see an entirely new reality; one he calls the Kingdom of Heaven.
This coming Sunday, through my preaching I'm going to invite you to see God's Kingdom through the story of the mustard seed. Many of you know this story well; a small mustard seed grows into a magnificent tree where all the birds build their nests. This parable; however, has a surprising quality that is meant to transform our understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven, just as the mountain peaks of VBS transformed my experience of Sunday morning. Join me this coming Sunday as we explore the question, "what does it mean to have mustard seed faith in the land of mega-churches?" The tiny mustard seed invites us to peak into the new reality God has for us.
Prayer for Today
Surprise us with your good news, O Gracious God, so that we may see your kingdom in our midst, live as faithful disciples of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and share his love in
joy-filled ways. Amen.