The Flannelgraph Kingdom: The Spurned Invitation

Everything I ever needed to know about the Kingdom of God, I learned from flannelgraph.

When it comes to the Kingdom of God, Jesus said, those who have will be given more, and they will possess it in abundance. But those who don’t have will lose even what they have.

Why is that? Why is it that the seeds of the Kingdom are so easily choked out or swept away? Why is it that Jesus offers this unimaginably wonderful invitation to people, yet it is spurned by the very people who you would expect to embrace it? The Kingdom is like a great party. But “religious” people don’t want to come. Why?

The answer, I think, is that God’s kingdom requires us to give up our own little kingdoms. And those who have amassed much in terms of power and prestige and influence think that they have much to lose when the world becomes a place where God is instead in charge.

But the situation, Jesus tells us, is even worse than that. Those who have their own kingdoms are unlikely to even understand what they are being told about God’s kingdom. While some will possess its truths in abundance, others will quickly lose what little they are given of it. They end up hearing (or not) what they want to hear, rather than what they ought.

Am I reading this right? Is it true that you can sit in a pew faithfully for an entire lifetime, with the message of Jesus being read aloud to you weekly, and still not get it? Is it possible that one can spend an hour a day, year after year, reading scripture but not possess its truths?

If I am reading this right, then the first thing you have to do is to be ready to give up your own kingdom. Only then, will you be capable of even understanding what God is saying about his own.

Scary, huh?

Up next: Heaven, earth, and the renewal of creation

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