A Message About the Lenten Season

“Long ago, with words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus spoke to the matter of searching as desire for God’s kingdom (13:44-50). He strung together parables, weaving stories of eternal significance using concrete word pictures. This kingdom search is like a merchant searching for fi ne pearls; then, finding a one-of-a-kind gem, he sells everything to buy it. It is like someone stumbling onto a treasure hidden in a field; then, quickly unloading all his assets to buy it. It is like the ultimate fishing story, catching fish of every kind. As Jesus uttered storied parables to those gathered, his voice and message carried from one generation to the next.
Jesus’ original audience had all classes of people, many hunting for the good things of their day. Some of those gathered had heard the swirling tidbits about Jesus—the reports of miracles, healings, and exorcisms. There was also his growing reputation as a special rabbi, a teacher with authority. While some may have longingly speculated that Jesus may be the Promised One of God, little did most of them know that the storyteller and the story were one. Little did they know that, in Jesus, their searching would also be their finding.
Through the words in Searching for the Kingdom of Heaven, you are invited to embrace Lent as a time to reflect and recapture your own search for the good things. While many of us enter this time weary of the daily grind, filled with doubts or fears or unanswered questions, let us first begin with hopeful hearts and the desire to be surprised again by the unrivaled Easter outcome. Let us also consider the risks—and gifts—inherent in this search for God’s kingdom life.
As the church of Jesus Christ, embrace the search. Let’s dare to believe. Let’s rally to the treasure, to the pearl of great price, to the holy Lamb of God. Broken, bankrupt, empty, and without adequate means, let’s run into the arms of our Savior. It’s all here in the story: the teachings and miracles of the Messiah, the uncompromising sacrifice of Jesus, and the surprising and glorious resurrection of Christ! Come and read. Join me in searching for the kingdom of heaven.”
An excerpt from the introduction of the lenten devotional “Searching for the Kingdom of Heaven” by Craig H. Smith and The Brethren Press. Devotions for Ash Wednesday through Easter.
Copies are available at Wakemans Grove.