Friday, February 18, 2022

Kingdom Living

It's still hard for us, this not knowing. This having questions and nothing to guide our reaction to them. This understanding that there are persons, real persons, who died and were resurrected and still didn't tell us anything about what death - or eternity - or the "other side" are like. There's even a little bit of indignation in most of us, a little bit of offense that God won't tell us what we so desperately want to know. 

But He kinda did. 

The question that we really have is, what is life going to be like in the Kingdom? What is the fullness of life that God has for me? What is it like when God sets the world right and things actually go according to His plan?

Where we're struggling, really, is in thinking that's only going to happen on the other side of eternity. Our trouble is that we think it's just not possible in this life. 

But remember, Jesus spent most of His ministry preaching about the Kingdom of God and very, very little of it had to do with the resurrected life. Rather, it had to do with the kind of life that we're willing to live right now. That we're called to live right now. 

The Kingdom of God, Jesus says, is giving up all of this for the chance at something better. It's putting aside all the things of value in this world so that we can buy a field with a pearl in it. It's praying for your enemies and blessing those who curse you. It's going further than the world requires of you. It's turning the other cheek. It's investing the talents that God has given you so that you get a return for His glory that is beyond your wildest imagination.

Every single parable that Jesus ever told about the Kingdom of God has within it a truth about the life we're living right now in these broken, decaying bodies in a busted, messed-up world. And lest we fail to understand just how much the Kingdom of God is deeply invested into this very present world, when Jesus walked out of the grave, He started to fry fish. He broke bread. He got dust on His feet again. 

The Kingdom of God, friends, is among us. At least, it is when we choose to live like it is. When we choose to invest in today like this is our eternity, like this is our chance, like this is what God has called us to do. Because, spoiler alert: it is. He has called us to Kingdom living right here, right now, with faith as small as a mustard seed and the kind of authority that can curse a fig tree for never producing the kind of fruit that it promised. (Adam and Eve ate that fruit, but mankind never seemed to actually learn good from evil. Did we?) 

Yes, we want to know. I get that. We want to know what death is like, what resurrection is like, what eternity is like. We want God to enchant us with tales of His promises and all the hope that our hearts can handle.

But the truth is that He's given us all of that and so much more about this life, and we haven't even pulled that off. We can't even fathom it. We can't even imagine what this life would be like if it were true, let alone consistently live it out. How much more, then, would we miss the measure of all of these things of eternity that we can't possibly understand while we're stuck in time? 

I confess I am curious, too. How could I not be? Yet, the truth remains: there's enough about the Kingdom of God right here, right now, that I'm already missing and enough already to work on for a lifetime...and then some. So that's where I'm putting my energies. At least for now. Not worrying about a future I cannot quite grasp, but worrying about a present - yes, a present in the Kingdom of God - that I am missing right now.  

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