Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Kingdom Inbreaking, Kingdom Outflowing

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29

When Jesus walked onto the pages of Scripture, he announced it right off:: "The Kingdom of God is at hand." He brought good news, he was good news -- the old ways of doing things are done he announced, the new ways of doing things are here: 

  • Light, not darkness 
  • Courage, not fear
  • Laughter, not tears 
  • Hope, not dispair
  • Life, not death. 
"The Kingdom of God is here," he declared, "and it's available to anybody who wants to be a part of it." And, this is what it is like -  it is like a treasure that is better than all competing treasures, it is like a pearl of great value, it is like a net that is broadly cast out, it is like yeast that spreads, it is like a small seed that grows big, it is unpredictable and uncontainable, it is organic, beautiful and untamed. It is something that we are caught up into, something that we are not called to be spectators of, but to be participants in -- here and now, and forever when we die. “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message,” (Mark 1:15 MESSAGE) change your life and enter into it with gusto. 

This is good news! Do you believe it is? Not just good news in general or for some people, but for you. Do you believe it? 

Our actions belay our beliefs, the content of our lives convey our convictions. Do you believe it? Maybe you believe it a little bit, but you hesitate to appropriate it in the actual stuff of life -- the letting go of worry, the control over the things you can't control, the change you want to make but don't believe you can, the sharing of your faith, the inviting of people join you as  you live out your faith. Jesus once was asked by a man to heal his son. Jesus asked him if he believed he could. In one of the most honest answers I can imagine, the man said in essence, "well, I believe a little bit, help me to believe more." And that's what Jesus did. 

This Kingdom life is good news, and Jesus is not keeping it to himself. He wants you to know it, to believe and to step out in it in action -- in our own lives, in the service of the least, the lost and the left behind -- and to share it with others. Take a look, step in, step up and see the reality that God will meet you there. Because, he is already at work in the places you are led to go.

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