And Jesus says, I know. I know the size of your heart, and of your soul, and of your strength, and of your mind. I know you can’t do it all, but here’s the thing. You can do something. You can help this guy right in front of you, even if he’s not your kind or your kin. You can learn through the actions of others, even “other” others, how to show mercy and to change, if not the world, then the world of the person right in front of you.
In fact, the reign of God may spring a little more into view every time one person looks over at another one, not wondering what she has to offer or how he might be of use, but looks at them as the miracle they are just by existing in this glorious, hurting, strange, beautiful, bountiful harvest of a world that Jesus wants us to see for the miracle it is.
When Jesus described the reign of God, it wasn’t as some fixed inheritance to be preserved and passed on intact. It was like a few mustard seeds exploding into a bush full of birds or a little yeast blowing up a loaf of bread like a balloon. He told his followers that they and we would do even greater things than he did after he was gone. He said he was leaving, not Christian operating instructions or even a fixed set of holy scriptures, but a Holy Spirit who would work within and among us a lead us into all sorts of new life and possibilities.
What we might learn from these stories is how *not* to get the answer wrong. That means not answering from a place of fear, from the shadows of death and despair. That means not offering mistaken beliefs or lies we’ve come to believe but answering these simple questions with simple truths.
Believing that wisdom is intrinsic, that it has always been and will always be, that it is present in everything and every place, means that we can be “guided into all truth” by all that we encounter – from the simple meal of bread and wine here at this table to the banquet of experiences every day of our lives.