The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman put into three measures of meal till it was all leavened. The kingdom of heaven is not an alternative way of life in the world. The kingdom – that is, the church – is the New Way of living. We are the new society, the new citizenship, the new kingdom.
We do not gather primarily as a refuge for those escaping from the world – although the church is that for some when they do flee. But here, in the midst of the assembly, ministered to by Word and Sacrament in the fellowship of the saints and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are the new polis – living before God and with one another.
And this worship service instructs us in that. We are summoned here to be renewed in covenant with God. We are washed as we confess our sins. We are lifted up and evaluated, re-arranged, equipped, remade, through the Word. We lift our prayers and supplications for all aspects of life around us, calling on God to change not only us but the world. We gather for a meal of Peace and Thanksgiving with our God – and we are sent – out with His blessing to conquer with more grace, more mercy, and more love.
And so the kingdom of heaven is like leaven. It naturally expands – it naturally grows out and affects more and more of what it is in – and we are here – in the world. Even this time of worship is taking place here, upon the earth – and so this is leaven – this service of worship is not only for us – it is for the world. It is leavening the world. Come and worship Your conquering King.