Monday, February 21, 2011

" Can You See the Kingdom of God?"

To what would you compare the kingdom of God like? It is like finding the technology stock you bought in the 1980s for $50 and suddenly realizing you are a millionaire. It is like the owner of DeBeers finally finding the perfect diamond and selling a billion dollar empire to have it. It is like the harassed physician tired of the HMOs, selling home and BMW and finding bliss in a mission in Congo. It is like the crack addict waking up with a clear head and is free to choose a new life.

Is it something that can only be had in the next life, so we must patiently suffer in this life to earn it? It is our reward that we receive after what we suffer in our lives here on earth. Is the Kingdom of God any better than the latest gadget advertised on an infomercial? Do we feel we are any closer to God’s kingdom whenever the Supreme Court decides that the Ten Commandments can be displayed in marble on the side of the court building, when kids can pray in school, or if we observe the separation of church and state? Are we closer to God’s kingdom if we double our weekly worship attendance? Of courses these are rhetorical questions.

We have spent the last few weeks listen to the stories or riddles Jesus told about the Kingdom of God. When I listen to the words of Jesus, I must admit my perception of God’s Kingdom is far from Jesus’ description. I daily fall into the bad habit of measuring my vision of God’s Kingdom as only a correlation of how things are going on in the world around me. When I loose someone I love to death, in the pain of the separation, I feel God’s Kingdom is a thousand miles away. When money is tight and bills are due, God’s Kingdom doesn’t seem like a valuable procession. When my body is weak, hurting, and tired, I don’t necessarily feel God’s presences in near. When only a few people show up for worship on Sunday mornings, yes, I too feel like God’s Kingdom is located somewhere in a foreign universe. What is wrong is my perception.

The last few weeks as we listened to Jesus’ description of the Kingdom of God, it is clear that every story illustrated it is more than we ever could imagine. Our life with God is better than anything we could ever imagine. The Kingdom of God is not a far off reward but something that is happening now, around me, if I dare to notice. I must first move my attention off the things of this world and notice God’s Kingdom breaking in around me. Jesus reminds us that the Kingdom comes in, in inches not grand leaps and bounds. I can begin to find the Kingdom in every unemployed person that found a job, every addict who got sober, and every poor child who stayed in school and got an education. I can see the Kingdom braking around me when I see a prayer shawl draped around a grieving woman at her brother’s funeral, a teenage daughter crying as she feels God calling her back to Honduras, and a faith community lifting up their pastor in his time of pain. These are the mustard seeds of hope that surround us. The Kingdom is here, God’s Kingdom is now, if we dare to notice.
Still looking for God's Kingdom,

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