Sermon Notes for a Friend (Mark 4:26-29)


We do not find the kingdom of God in the usual places –
It is not in Simon the Zealot’s dream of revolution
nor in the inner court of the temple upon the altar of the religious elite
nor in the smiles pulled taut across the faces of faithful church attenders.
No, the kingdom of God is not so definite or obvious a thing as these.

But neither is it indefinite like the spiritual
songs of the evangelicals lost in gnostic reveries.

The Kingdom of God must be loosely contained in metaphor –
the way the banks of the Mississippi loosely contains its floodwaters for a time.
the way Chernobyl loosely contained the splitting of atoms for a time.

This time, we will seek to contain it in the tensile cellulose of a grain –
probably wheat, but corn for our American readers will be acceptable.

This Kingdom of God grows with photosynthesis –
no less mysterious now that we have observed and named it.

This Kingdom of God takes sunlight,
mixes it with water and carbon dioxide,
and then produces oxygen and food.

This Kingdom of God will not be mass produced.
It will not be the product of the industrialized west.
It will not be engineered, or bought, or sold.

True, we may mass produce
and productize
and engineer
and buy
and sell
the harvest

But not its patient mitosis
Not its essential growth
from the creator to the creator

This Kingdom of God may only be breathed or eaten –
with greedy entitlement
or humble thanksgiving.