The Kingdom of Heaven is like……
Jesus mostly talked about the Kingdom of Heaven in the form of parables. In their uninterpreted form, they provide us with the best raw material in the bible for understanding Jesus’s ministry and agenda.
But parable, as a form of communication, is not unique to Jesus. His are powerfully different but other figures in history have used them. For example, the Chinese philosopher Confucius used parables. A good example can be found with this heading ‘The Story of the Lu-Liang River’. You can find it on the internet and it’s worth reading.
I regularly wonder what a 21st Century parable would look or sound like.
So, I thought I would have a go (in all humility) based upon something have observed often at St Kilda UCA.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a bench outside a church building. Because it’s been there for such a long time nobody really notices it any more; the bench that is. But every day and night people use it. At night, it is a bed and safe place for a homeless man. In the morning the sleeper moves away and two companions rest for a while sharing the space with a cup of coffee, a chat and a smoke. A tram rattles past and the pigeons strut their stuff on the lawn. Last night’s bottles of grog lean against the wall. Cigarette butts litter the ground reminders of yesterday’s sojourners. Throughout the day, those who feel lost find a place of welcome on the old bench’s weather worn timber. The lady who spends her day collecting used cigarette ends, sits by herself and drawing deeply on a freshly rolled smoke finds some peace.
The bench is seldom without its friends”.
In a spirit-filled world there are many benches. They don’t all look the same but some people everywhere recognise them for what they are.