Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Kingdom Is Here

Many talk of their desire to have lived when Christ walked the earth. They imagine that if they were present with the master teacher that somehow their lives and their church would be quite different. But, they are mistaken. The things that we long for, the closeness that we imagine, the truths we think we would then understand are more available to us today than ever before.

The Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to be closer to Christ now than when He lived on earth. If we truly believed this, how might it make a difference in how we lived and in how we ‘did church’? It is easy to grow complacent, secretly believing that living the Kingdom of God was for the disciples of long ago.

The truth, however, is that the Holy Spirit makes living a vibrant life and one of restoration possible for every person that desires it. The Holy Spirit knows no limits, no bounds, and no exclusions. Any true seeker may find. As Jesus reminded us, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door, I will come in and eat with them.”

We are living in a time of great invitation. The call of Jesus is going out across the world, “If anyone…” Are we open to meeting the needs of a hurting world? Are our arms and hearts open wide to anyone who might need the loving touch, the kind word, or the helping hand?

By studying the life of Christ we are made aware of the importance of the ministry of compassion. Jesus did not engage in the politics of the day, he did not debate theology or preach doctrine, nor did he shut himself away from anyone. Instead, he reached out to whomever had a heartfelt need and poured the love of Heaven through himself out into the world.

If we compare our lives to His, how do we measure up? How much time everyday do you spend in loving service to others for which you do not receive any type of reward or wage? Is there any group of people that you believe are excluded from the ministry of compassion through Christ, any group that you would not be willing to serve? Do politics prejudice you towards others? If someone has a different set of doctrines or doesn’t see eye-to-eye with you, can you still be in loving support of them? How inclusive are you? Where do you draw the line, or do you have a line? Do you think Christ excluded anyone?

These are difficult questions and they strike at the root of our own wounding and sense of scarcity. Imagine with me, a different way of being in the world—a way where we are healed of our sense of separation from God and from one another—a way of being where we do not draw lines of division and square off with one another in debate and conflict. Do you realize how much our current paradigm alienates us from one another and from the world?

It is only through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that we are able to move past these human limitations of pettiness and division. The Spirit alone is able to heal and restore the image of God within us. Salvation is for everyone. It is we who struggle to embrace the inclusive love of God.

We serve an abundant God. Perhaps we should start with ourselves—reveling in the outrageous grace of a compassionate Savior until we are so delirious with the good news that we our filled with compassion and love for others. The love of God crowds out any sense of superiority or exclusiveness. In fact, God’s love is so immense we will never, ever begin to wrap our minds around it. We can begin by writing a new chapter in our lives and in the life of our church. Let's start living the Kingdom of God now.

1 comment:

  1. A good spiritual post. I think we would all agree on what is written here. Thank you for the inspiration.