A discussion was taking place in Farmer John’s barnyard between a pig and a chicken. The pig said, “I’ve noticed that Farmer John is walking around very depressed these days. The farm isn’t doing so well, and he seems very upset. Let’s think of some way we could cheer him up.” “I know,” said the chicken. “He loves to eat, so let’s fix him a great big breakfast! How does ham and eggs sound?” The pig pondered a moment and then said, “Well, the breakfast idea sounds good but the menu bothers me a bit.” “Why is that?” the chicken asked. The pig responded, “That breakfast represents a single donation on your part, but of me, it requires a personal sacrifice.”

The story is a segue, a humorous one at that, to talk about commitment. This very word raises deep questions for us, for examples: How committed am I to my ideals? How committed am I to my convictions, whether they be religious or otherwise? How much do I stand up for the truths I hold to? It goes beyond the type of commitment we have, say for examples, our sports team, or the school(s) our children attend and so on. For instance, when my children attended primary school, as parents we showed our commitment in a variety of ways, for example, volunteering in some of the programs such as helping the children with their reading along with attending the many working bees. I recall a regular task of mine was attending to the school lawns and gardens every Friday afternoon when school was let out. However, our children have moved on and our commitment to the school is no longer there as it once was. A footy team could lose a good coach and several good players and these could serve to test peoples allegiance. As these two examples indicate, our commitment wanes over time. Can the same be said of the kingdom of God?

In Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Jesus tells several parables about the kingdom of God and what it is like – a mustard seed being planted, yeast put into bread dough, a field with buried treasure, a merchant finding a pearl, a fishing net catching all kinds of fish?

On reflection, the parables are a reminder our relationship to God is worth having above all else, worth giving up all else for. We only need to look at Jesus life, death and resurrection to realise God’s commitment to humanity. The kingdom of God, if we allow it, shapes and influences our lives our behaviour and our motives. It follows then the way we behave towards others makes a difference to the good and well-being of others and as well it makes a difference in our own lives. It gives more reason why we ought to pursue the kingdom of God or the reign of God as some would put it, with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.

You may ask yourself, what does this kingdom look like and where is it? As Matthew’s gospel suggests, the kingdom of God is active and in our midst though we cannot see it. So, a task for you my friends is to discover for yourselves where the kingdom of God is being realised around you. Be prepared to be surprised when you do.

The Lord strengthen us so that we may not waiver in our commitment and dedication to Gods kingdom.

Blessings on your Pentecost journey.

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