On July 27, I preached on Jesus' images and parables about the Kingdom of God in Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. My sermon was about the calling God makes to each of us regarding our place in God's work in the world, so I went with this quotation by Mary Clare from her book Encountering the Depths. (Full disclosure--I haven't read the book. I just got the quote from somewhere and hung on to it.)
"The most difficult and decisive part of prayer is acquiring the ability to listen. Listening is no passive affair. Listening is a conscious, willed action, requiring alertness and vigilance. Listening is in this sense difficult. It is decisive because it is the entry into a personal and unique relationship with God, in which we hear the call of our own special responsibilities for which God has intended us. Listening is the aspect of silence in which we receive the commission of God."
On July 20th, I preached on the parable of the wheat and the weeds in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. One of the themes of the parable is of waiting for the final harvest and the full in-breaking of the Kingdom of God, so I went with this quotation by Margaret Guenther:
"Waiting for the inbreaking of the kingdom is like no other kind of waiting. It is not the routine, humdrum marking of time in our daily lives, or the terror and dread of devastation. It is waiting in hope for something that is not seen, yet yearning for it with a longing that is beyond words. The yearning for the coming of the kingdom is yearning for God."