Like many of you, most of my days have a sameness about them. I go to the same places, see the same people, do many of the same things. There is a routine that is followed: up at about the same time, coffee, conversation with Mary-Ellen, to the office and everything that needs to be done here, home, reading, bed. Occasionally, the routine gets interrupted with gifts of evenings out with friends (as tonight will be, for example) or an event of some sort. But for the most part, it’s the same thing pretty much every day.
Which means that I tend not to see some of the things that are hidden in front of my face, the things that are always there but I simply don’t notice them. There is a legendary family story of the day, years ago, when we were leaving our home for church. I glanced to my left and commented that there was a small family cemetery, right in the middle of town, that I had never seen before and I wondered how long it had been there. The nine year old in the car commented “at least four years because we’ve been living here that long.”
Maybe the same thing happens to you. I suspect that many of us don’t always notice or see the things that are right before us. They are hidden in plain sight. The work of God, the kingdom of God, is often like that as well. It’s right in front of us but we do not (or cannot) see it.
This Sunday, we’ll read an odd story from Genesis (Genesis 29:15-28) about Jacob, his uncle Laban and his cousins Rachel and Leah. God will never once be mentioned in the story but will, in fact, be all over it. We’ll also hear Jesus tell us that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, or yeast in bread, or a treasure in a field, or a fishing expedition – all everyday things that contain within them the surprise of grace in an otherwise routine (and sometimes messy) life.
I hope to see you Sunday for the conversation. I can pretty much guarantee that things will look like they do most Sundays and it’ll pretty much be the same crowd of folks (with a few new faces thrown in for good measure) and the same order of worship that we use most weeks. It’ll be the “same old, same old.” But, I hope you’ll come with open eyes and open hearts and be ready for the surprise of something that is hidden in plain sight.
Grace and peace.