What Kind of Person Are You?
“For the sake of the kingdom of God, we need to proclaim with our lives, and with our words when necessary, that the sole criteria for whether something is a manifestation of the kingdom of God or not is the person of Jesus Christ. To the extent that an individual or group looks like Jesus, dying for those who crucified him and praying for their forgiveness in the process—to that degree they can be said to manifest the kingdom of God. To the degree they do not look like this, they do not manifest God’s kingdom. Hence, to the extent that the church throughout history has persecuted ‘sinners’ and ‘heretics’ rather than embracing them, serving them, and sacrificing for them in love, it was simply one religious version of the kingdom of the world among a multitude of others—only worse, precisely because it claimed to represent the kingdom of God.”
-Gregory A. Boyd
Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:24-43
Have you ever baked fresh bread? It’s fantastic! Here’s a simple recipe we found on the internet. Much like the yeast mentioned in one of the parables in today’s reading (and in the recipe above), the small ways we proclaim the kingdom of God and of Heaven can yield significant results. If we’re always on the lookout for adversaries, then even the smallest actions can create discord and antagonism; but if we’re on the lookout to proclaim goodness, forgiveness, and mercy, then even the smallest words, actions, or gestures can create wholesome and healthy relationships.
So take some time this week to bake the bread we linked to and, as you do, take special notice of how little yeast you use compared to all the other ingredients. Watch the dough rise, then watch how the bread rises when you bake it, and determine you’re going to add some yeast of kindness, forgiveness and love into the bread of your life this week.
Ask questions, share thoughts and wrestle together about your experiences from the material this week.