Saturday, June 16, 2012

Homily for 8.00 (& maybe 9.30) Proper 6 Yr B

The vicarage garden is, I have to say, so bad that it's funny.
Though I rather enjoy gardening, I simply don't have any time – and Andrew, who might have the time, has less than no inclination.
Couple that with the fact that when the new vicarage went up, I rather suspect that the builders simply dumped some topsoil on the rubble of the old, and add the presence of a digging enthusiast in the form of Libby the retriever, and hens who will eat anything that lies in their path....
You get the idea. Chelsea it isn't.
But for all that, we DO have a wildflower lawn...something I love for all sorts of reasons but mostly because it demands nothing of me at all.
The clover, daisies, speedwell and dandelions that flourish there owe nothing whatsoever to my hardwork or ingenuity.
They are there simply because they have self sown...and actually, if I decided tomorrow that I wanted a perfect stripey lawn, they'd be almost impossible to get rid of.
And that's also the case with the mustard seed in 1st century Palestine.
While some varieties were used as spice and others medicinally, in general they were considered at the very least a pest and often somewhat dangerous.
Why? Because wild mustard is incredibly hard to control, and once it takes root it can take over a whole planting area.
In other words, mustard seed was the ground elder of the ancient world...rarely found in well tended gardens, but overrunning a vacant field...
And that, you know, is the most wonderfully encouraging thought.
Jesus says that the Kingdom is like a mustard seed...which means that actually nothing can stop it
We may think that there are no signs of its presence...may feel that the human race is intent on self destruction, that selfishness, cruelty, death and despair are having things all their own way....but, imperceptibly beneath the surface of our broken, workaday world, the seeds of Kingdom transformation are growing...subverting the patterns of this world in ways that we can neither predict nor control.
And I think that's the point: this kingdom Jesus proclaims is not something we can control.
And it's definitely not safe, not, that is, if we're even a little bit satisfied with the way things are.
Rather, the kingdom comes to turn the world upside down, to make the prayerful song of Magnificat a living reality.
The seeds of the kingdom, tiny but irresistible, are also the seeds of hope – hope which moves us to action.
That's what Jesus offers, the dangerous hope that God's kingdom is coming and while we can neither control or even summon it (the farmer in the first of today's parables has no idea how or why his seeds grow) we can be alert for signs of its coming and celebrate its presence among us.
So this week I invite you to look at the world through Kingdom spectacles...
So now we regard no one from a human point of view”
See things differently.
Be on the lookout for signs of that dangerous, transformative hope of a new reality founded on Love.
And live into it... live your identity as a new creation, brought to birth by water and the Spirit, living in Christ and empowered to be a sign of the Kingdom yourself, in all its justice, and joy


Ostrich said...

Another corker. I hope they realise how lucky they are...

Kathryn said...

Ostrich, I do rather <3 you...Whether or not my lovely congregations think I'm any use, they certainly wouldn't dream of saying your encouragement is worth its weight in gold.
Grateful hugs xx

ramtops said...

Particularly like this one, but then I'm rather into wildflowers... and God's Kingdom being something we just can't get rid of!