The Kingdom of Heaven is Like... (a modern day parable)

God,

We come to you broken and often lost. It's in that place that you find us and pull us up. Keep us humble Lord. Keep us open. Teach us to love and be loved. 

Amen

Quick deviation from what we've been doing... It's a holiday weekend so most of you won't even read anyway ;) and I feel like this is worth sharing. This one isn't on a specific word like we've been doing; but please feel free to comment and let's talk if you want to talk! 

Some of you know my youngest, Selah Mercy. We often refer to her as the "Tiny Tyrant". She rules the room. Whenever she is around she commands authority and not because she is harsh or rude. It's just a gift. Like at school, she is the kid that sets the trends. She dresses herself and all of the other little girls seek her approval in what they are wearing for the day. Crystal and I have worked hard to feed into the individuality of each of our kids. If you've met all of them I would hope that it's obvious. 

Recently, Selah started a "Necklace Club" at school. One mother was concerned about it, we later found out it's because her daughter is usually the bossy one; but for some reason she has fallen under Selah's leadership and that's just not normal for her kid to submit to authority. Selah doesn't ostracize or demand that kids follow her, it just happens. As I said, it's a gift. 

So Selah has started this new club... this "Necklace Club" and all of the girls are part of it. Being in Necklace club is a big deal. The rules of "Necklace Club" is that little girls in the club must wear necklaces... or at least that's what they all think. 

The day that Selah started "Necklace Club" one of the little girls in the class said, "But I don't have a necklace." and Selah responded, "It's ok you can still be in the "Necklace Club." 

She didn't demand that she get a necklace, she didn't offer her a necklace to be a part of "Necklace Club".

Go back through and re-read that... there's something there.

I think this is a lot like the kingdom of heaven. 

We often feel like someone has to have something before they can be a part of our club. We feel like maybe we have to do something to include them like offer them a necklace. Maybe we can't invite them to be a part of our "necklace club" unless they have their "necklace".

I think that maybe my 4 year old daughter understands this club a little better. 

Like maybe there's something there. 

Maybe this kingdom doesn't require a necklace?

Listen, before you spring the whole, "What about when Jesus talks about the dude at the wedding banquet that wasn't dressed appropriately?" YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT! Everyone at that wedding wasn't "supposed" to be there; but they were.  

We often require perfection or atleast a pursuit of perfection before we allow someone in our club. That has become the "necklace". If you aren't wearing the necklace of "pursuing perfection" then you can't be in our Necklace Club. You better be wearing it loud and proud! 

But we miss something important; the disciples were disciples before they even believed. They didn't have the necklace and they were in the club! They didn't even really know who Jesus was. He was just some Rabbi that said "come and follow me". Then they spent 3 years questioning who he was, not believing... but he still let them in the club. They didn't really get it till he was back from the dang dead! 

There's nothing wrong with our necklaces, there's just something wrong with our requirements.

We say, "Sign this!" or "Nope. This is where you need to sign." 

We build opposition based on opposition. 

We demand that people view the world our way. 

We demand they believe the EXACT things that we believe. 

We have made a VERY exclusive club, for only the finest of necklaces. 

In the end, do our necklaces really matter? Are we missing the point? Maybe the necklaces that we hold onto so tightly are really keeping us from enjoying the company of others. Maybe our adherence to the rules of Necklace Club is keeping us from loving others in a way that is intended . 

I know we all feel our club is the most rightest of the right of all of the clubs and attacking necklace club and the need for a necklace may seem a little foreign to you; but maybe it's time to explore that a little. Maybe it wouldn't hurt if you took your necklace off for a minute to explore who may be too timid to approach you and say quietly, "I don't have a necklace but I want to be play too."  

When my 4 year old daughter invented Necklace Club she flipped the rules on the clubs head... the one little girl who didn't feel good enough because she didn't have a necklace was invited in with open arms. NO NECKLACE REQUIRED. 

Next time someone asks, "What's up with this Kingdom of Heaven?" 

respond with, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a pre-k class with a necklace club..."

Sanctification... burn baby burn!

God, Forgive Me, the Drunken Street Evangelist.

God, Forgive Me, the Drunken Street Evangelist.