The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-6)
Monday, January 28, 2013
The Reign of God
...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
What are we doing at church? ...or as the church? What’s the BIG PICTURE response to that question?
I have an answer after listening to an inspiring sermon by The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis on a Day1 podcast (and reflecting upon Psalm 36.) She is the Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in NYC.
In church we are rehearsing, practicing, preparing and/or training for the Kingdom to come, for that day when everything is done according to God’s will, when this planet is as perfect as we imagine heaven to be.
In truth, that level of perfection is beyond my imagining, but I’m committed to continue the rehearsal. As we practice, prepare and train, we bring the Kingdom closer…for ourselves and those we serve.
If I were a bit more extroverted, I would stand outside my church and proclaim this invitation:
Come in! Join us as we practice for the reign of God.
Experience our inspiring liturgy and music. One day everyone will praise you.
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5)
Support our urban outreach programs. One day no one will live on the streets. No hunger. No mental illness. People will have housing and work.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. (v6)
Volunteer with our GED project. One day everyone will have a strong educational foundation to propel their dreams.
How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. (v7)
Share in our service to migrant farm workers. One day hard working people will be lifted from poverty.
They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. (v8)
Assist our ministry to children and youth. One day all children will know you.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. (v9-10)
Jesus, we are rehearsing for your reign. In worship, service and stewardship, we attempt to make it so - to make your Kingdom a reality for more of our brothers and sisters. Our greatest hope is in and for your return. Until then, we will continue to practice - the practice of Christianity. Amen.
Posted by George Habel