What Takes a Back Seat?

Four years ago I began looking for a camera to buy. We had a film camera. I wanted a DSLR – a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.

My Uncle Kenny was the first “photographer” influence. He had a darkroom. Paul, my middle-brother, got the bug too. We got our own darkroom. Over the years my interests changed. Paul maintained his interest in photography. When my desire to re-engage photography returned, it made sense to talk to Paul.

I had developed a friendship with Spencer over the past number of years who was an accomplished, professional photographer. He took the photo that became the cover for Chuck Colson’s autobiography, Born Again.

For weeks and months I read reviews. I talked to Paul. I visited local camera shops and online stores. I read more reviews. I talked to Paul more. Once I narrowed my choices and settled into a price range – an entry level Canon or Nikon – I began to save. I rat-holed money here and there. When I had the opportunity for an odd job, I took it. I saved and saved more. Other things I had wanted took a back seat. This is what I would buy. And I did.

A couple of years later I wanted a lens for our trip to Alaska, courtesy of Snow Hill marking our 15th Anniversary. I considered what focal length I wanted. Something that would reach out and touch whales, Orcas, and seals. A lens that would reach out and capture eagles and distant structures. I read reviews. I considered my budget. I saved. I saved more. Other things I had wanted took a back seat. This is what I would buy. And I did.

Jesus speaks in parables. He talked about the Kingdom of God – the one in the “Heavens.” As Dallas Willard notes, the Kingdom that is all around us. In our reading for this week there are four parables. Comparisons abound. Two of the parables compare the value of the Kingdom to a great pearl and a treasure discovered in a field. In both instances, the one pursuing the pearl and the treasure spared no expense. Other things that had been wanted took a back seat. The pearl or the treasure is what would be bought. No expense would be spared.

When we talk about the Good News of Jesus as the announcement that the Kingdom has come and will keep coming, we are hopeful it becomes the one thing to which all else takes a back seat. The Kingdom of God becomes the one thing we pursue. And, we will/do.

Jesus opens up the Kingdom for the “birds.” He notes the Kingdom becomes pervasive like “leaven.” This is good news for those in search of a home. This is good news for those who think the Kingdom could never reach them.

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Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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