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Luke Study #137 – Finally

The Gospel Of Luke

Luke 13:18-21 (CEV)

18 Jesus said, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it with? 19 It is like what happens when someone plants a mustard seed in a garden. The seed grows as big as a tree, and birds nest in its branches.”

20 Then Jesus said, “What can I compare God’s kingdom with? 21 It is like what happens when a woman mixes yeast into three batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.”

Finally

Anyone who has been to my house knows that I’m a bit of a gardener. My front yard is a beautiful, tumbling perennial garden. My back yard is home to fruit trees and vegetable patches, blueberry bushes and raspberry canes. Strawberry plants have grown willy-nilly in two of the beds, and, because I didn’t have the energy to pull and replant them last fall, my onion and garlic plants are going rogue.

But my garden didn’t start out that way.

When we moved here nine years ago, our house was a new build. Our yard, as such, was clay soil, criss-crossed with machinery tracks, and covered with a building site’s detritus.

Eventually, they came and put a one-inch layer of topsoil down and covered it with sod.

Eventually, the neighbours came together, and a fence was built.

Eventually, I laid out a plan on the ground for pathways and gardens, laid down layer after layer of newspaper to block the weeds, held it down with pieces of broken brick and stones that I’d picked up from the junk pile across the street, and starting outlining the shape of the space.

Eventually, I bought a wheelbarrow and twelve cubic yards of soil, pea gravel and mulch and started hauling them one load at a time to the back yard.

Eventually, I got to go to the garden store and choose small little plants and little bags of seeds and take them home to plant them.

Eventually, I watered them, weeded around them, watched as the sun beat down on them. Some plants, like tomatoes, grow quickly, and I had a crop within a few months. But other things, like strawberries, take a few years, and still other things, like fruit trees, can take seven years of more.

So finally, this year marks seven years.

Finally, this year, there is good fruit on my trees.

Finally. After all that.

And apparently, that’s what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.

It’s not fast. It’s not showy. You can’t really watch it growing, only seen that it has grown.

It takes work that involves planning and sweat, creativity and muscles, patience and determination.

But if you do the work. If you commit the time. If you are willing to look at pictures of gardens you love and stare long enough and hard enough at the builder’s dump of a space you’ve been given. If you are willing to do all these things, then one day, finally, you will look out the window to see a beautiful garden.

Finally, you’ll look around you to see that the Kingdom of Heaven is showing up more and more and more in ever-increasing abundance.

Because here’s the thing about a garden. Once it gets to a certain point, the challenge isn’t getting it to grow. It’s trimming it back and keeping it tamed.

So if you start planting a Kingdom garden, be ready for just what it will finally bring.Journal Questions:

  1. If you are able this week, I encourage you to make a loaf of bread from scratch. (There are lots of great instructions on line). As you proof your yeast, think about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  2. As you knead your bread, think about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  3. As you let your bread rise, think about the Kingdom of Heaven
  4. As you punch your bread down, think about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  5. As you bake your bread, think about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  6. As you take a bite, think about the Kingdom of Heaven.
  7. How has this experience changed the way you think about the Kingdom of Heaven?
  8. How does it change your understanding of Jesus’ words?

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