Re Matthew’s gospel on the kingdom of god:
One of the things the kingdom is compared to is yeast. This is significant when you consider that to the Hebrews, yeast was considered impure. On holy days they rid their house completely of yeast, big clumps of ripe moldy yeast – it was considered spiritually impure.
So maybe, just maybe, the kingdom of God can be found in the unclean and the unexpected and the darkness. Thinking about my own long search in my younger days…mistakes, missteps…could it be that the gospel is saying that the kingdom of heaven was right there – in my drug days, in my atheist days, in my darkest hours? We tend to think of the kingdom of heaven, of God, being present in our “redeemed” state, in the place where we have it all figured out, in our believing place, our forgiven place.
But what if this is pointing to the understanding that God is there in my muddy past, in my darkest hours, in my direst mistakes? What if God is there in the addict, the homeless alcoholic, the prisoner, the atheist, the sinner? What if the kingdom of heaven is found not only in the cleaned up version of myself that I show the world, but also in the dark closets of my secret fears and weaknesses? What if God is saying that his/her presence isn’t limited to where we feel it “ought” to be? We assume God is only where we expect him/her to be. In church, among the people who recognize him/her. No. I think this is saying that God resides in the unexpected places and isn’t limited to our opinion of where he/she should hang out.
This kingdom Jesus talked about? He said it was at hand. Here. Now. Wherever I am. Everywhere I have been. Incredible.