It often seems as if ours is the most anxious time in history, at least from our selfish perspective in a remarkably affluent and outwardly secure corner of God's world. In different ways, Jesus and Paul are heralding the inbreaking of God's rule on earth, the fulfillment of all our hopes and prayers when we pray - alas, sometimes mindlessly - that God's kingdom come on earth and God's will be done on earth (in Washington, D.C., Afghanistan and Iraq, in affluent suburbs and in blighted inner cities). It's like this, this and this, he says-offering tantalizing bits of imagery for all sorts of people: the farmer who finds a treasure in the field, the shrewd financier who recognizes the ultimate good investment, the plant enthusiast who marvels at the growth produced by one tiny seed, the angler who finds a shoal full of fish, and - humblest and to me most appealing - the homemaker preparing to bake bread.
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