Monday, July 28, 2008

Things New and Old and Great

Scripture Text: Matthew 13:44-52
Sermon: "Things New and Old and Great"

These parables of Jesus focus on the Kingdom of Heaven. They connect, yet they are not easy to connect. Two speak of the great find, one speaks of making decisions, and the last one speaks of packaging.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure or a pearl of great value. Infinitely valuable and beautiful, it is sought recklessly by those that find it. The issue is that not everyone finds it...or chooses to look for it. The interesting thing about this kingdom is that it is backward: We find it, sell all, and buy it. Our normal pattern is find, buy, sell.

Summarizing a story, there was a Desert Father whose disciple (a young monk) asked him why people came to the desert to seek God...Yet, they left after only a few weeks. The Desert Father replies, "My dog saw a rabbit and began chasing it. He barked and chased, and made a big noise. Soon another dog joined...and another...and another. Soon the whole desert was filled with the sound of barking, chasing dogs. This went on into the night. As day broke however, some of the dogs had quit. By noon, only my dog was left chasing the rabbit." "Do you understand," he asked? The young monk said, "No!?!" The old man replied, "My dog saw the rabbit." This is like the Kingdom of Heaven. When we see it, we will doggedly pursue it. Some may hear about it, but unless they see it, they will not stay the course.

We must sell all for it. When we are gripped by grace and see the value of this Kingdom, we will give everything we have and are to get it.

Another summarized story, a man visits a family with a greyhound that raced in the gambling circuits. When the young family was doing the bedtime routine, the dog turned to the man and asked about him. Eventually the man asked the dog, "I hear you retired from racing." The greyhound said, "Who-Did they tell you I retired!?! I didn't retire. For 10 years I raced professionally in several circuits in Florida. For 10 years, 7 days a week, I chased that rabbit around and around and around the track. Then, one day, I got close to that rabbit...closer than I'd ever been. And you know what! That rabbit was a fake! I'd been chasing a fake rabbit my whole life! I didn't retire...I quit!"

Too often we settle for the lesser rabbit. We run around in circles chasing something dead and meaningless. Don't settle for the passing things of this world that leave you running in circles getting nowhere. Seek the Kingdom of Heaven and doggedly pursue it.

What is your Pearl of Great Price? What are you spending your life on? What are you willing to give up? What are you choosing to live for and pursue?

Chase the Kingdom.

1 comment:

cindy said...

loved it!! i wish i could hear it. when are you going to post your sermons to download??? i would definitely listen to it while i am working or download to my ipod!! keep going, you are doing a great job!! congrats!!
cindy :)