Leaven in the Kingdom of God

I used to have a TV which was barely hanging onto existence. It had once belonged to my grandmother. After her death the TV was bequeathed to my family. The TV never did work all that well, but a person could watch a show and enjoy it. A few years later it started having bigger problems. I was finishing seminary at the time. I didn’t have the resources to invest in a new TV, so we made do. Some days the picture tube would squish down into a three-inch band. On other days it would be close to nine inches. Twice it caught on fire. Fortunately it was on wheels and we could run it outside and swat the fire down. Still it worked – up to a point. Short, squat people were visible on the screen. I was a bit wary of turning it on after the second fire. My children were not.

That we had a TV of some sort to watch was more important than its limited ability to project images or being a potential fire hazard. Watching a program was challenging. One never knew when the squashed characters would become zigzags instead of people. Fortunately the sound worked and a person could follow the story line. I was reminded of our self-healing TV when my son let me know a monitor I had passed on to him was healed of its green line. For the past year and a half the green line has shown near the bottom of the screen. Today, the green line was gone. How does that happen with electronics? It’s a mystery to me.

I’m trying to figure out a way to communicate a sense of the Kingdom (Realm) of God. How does one communicate the mystical? Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that grows large enough for birds to rest in its branches. He said it was like bread a woman was kneading, who when the leaven is added, all of the dough rises. He saw the Kingdom of God in the ordinary and common place. Still he asked us to pray for it’s coming in such fullness that the Kingdom of God on this planet would be like that of heaven’s. Former President Jimmy Carter believes that the words, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” were meant for us to envision the kind of world God wants. Then do everything in our power to create that vision. Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God comparing it to the treasure in a field worth all one owns and a pearl of exquisite beauty, of such value one will sell everything to buy it.

William Barclay writes, “The Kingdom of God is the leaven which fills a person at one and the same time with the peace of God and with the divine discontent which will not rest until the evils of earth are swept away by the changing, revolutionizing power of God.”

I think of the Kingdom of God as that spiritual network which ties us all together in God’s love and care. When we pray for others we are connected in a spiritual web. Much like the world-wide-web of today, God’s Spirit has been connecting us through the ages. We are touched by God’s presence in prayer. Love flows in the spiritual realm with pulses of energy circling the globe, touching our hearts. Reminding us who and whose we are. In that love  God is urging us be leaven in the Kingdom of God, working for justice so others will know God cares.

To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” Luke 13:21