Walking through parables this Lent has been very interesting. What's really stood out to me over these last few weeks in Matthew is how Jesus was really trying to impress on the disciples that the Kingdom of Heaven is different. Really different. It's not a race to win and it's not climbing the ladder. It's definitely not pushing others down so you can step up.
Instead, we've learned the kingdom of heaven is service to others. It's gratefully accepting the gifts you've been given and sharing them. It's not me first, it's Christ first. Today we talked about Jesus "Whatsoever you do for the least of these..." a phrase is pretty well known around here because of our statue in the Wellington garden.
Our last hymn was, All hail the power of Jesus' name, where the soaring chorus commands: Crown him, crown him, crown him! It felt incongruent, holding in my head both the picture of our begging Jesus statue and glorious Jesus and the angels falling prostrate.
But maybe that's the point of the parables, to shake how we thought the world worked until the new way finally gets into our heads and into our souls. I don't really get it all yet, but I do understand the part of serving others, that was pretty clear.
...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. (Matt 25:35-36)