Almost every summer growing up Dad would do Sermon in the Sack for the children's time during worship. He asked a child to bring a bag from home with 3 items in it. He then pulled out one item at a time in worship and used them to finish "The kingdom of God is like..." It was everyone's goal to stump him.
**Nerd Alert** I used to entertain myself on the long 3 hour drive from Soldotna to Anchorage by finishing the sentence for tons of things I saw. The kingdom of God is like... rain, driving, a moose, friends, etc. I think that's one reason I love metaphors so much & use them in preaching today. I got lots of practice looking at the world and drawing comparisons to characteristics of God.
I woke up this morning with the sunlight streaming in my window. My first thought was: God, show me something completely new today. I hopped out of bed (I know its sick, I'm a morning person), grabbed my Message Remix Solo book and went to my hammock in the backyard.
I read in Numbers 14 how 10 of the 12 people that Moses sent to scout out the Promised Land doubted it would work out, even with God's help. They doubted God even after all the miracles and the wilderness journey where God saved them again and again (aren't we the scouts that just don't get it?!).
I happened to glance over and see my two dogs sprinting around the yard after each other. I could watch them all day. Such loves wells up in my heart to see them play together. Their personalities are so different. And they screw up all the time. Zoe eats books and poop. Callie barks at anything that moves. But the next second they're begging for love again.
The kingdom of God is like dogs & people. I think God loves us in the many ways that we love our dogs. God forgives us no matter what. God watches us screw up all the time. God sees us wanting to love him better. God sees our best intentions that so often fall short. God still welcomes us back.
Every single time.
Just like I'll always welcome the messes of love that are my dogs.
May seem simple and silly. But it helped me understand another characteristic of God this morning.
God, you love me even though I may never get it. And that makes me want to draw closer to you even more.