Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wednesdays of Wonder - His Kingdom is Come(fort)

I'm reading (more than) a few books right now.  One in particular, Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright, is compelling.  It's not an easy read, but a very good one if you are striving to understand and take seriously Who Jesus is and what He came to do in our world.

Wright makes (more than) a few good points.  I think I've found something quotable in every chapter thus far and I'm only halfway through!  (I'm trying to finish it because the ladies at the church library would like their book back.....)

When I read the following passage this morning, it struck me why I do these posts.  These lines, from Chapter 11, page 141, frame it all,

But suppose, just suppose...there were a god like Israel's God.  Suppose this God did after all make the world.  And suppose he were to claim, at long last, his sovereign rights over that world, not to destroy it... or merely to 'intervene' in it from time to time...but to fill it with his glory, to allow it to enter a new mode in which it would reflect his love, his generosity, his desire to make it over anew...

Perhaps these stories (of Jesus)...are...the sort of things that might just be characteristic of the new creation, of the fulfilled time, of what happens when heaven and earth come together....Because if they did, it might mean that a living God really had established his sovereign rule on earth as in heaven and was intending to let this rule grow...putting an end to the fantasy of human sovereignty, of being the master's of one's own fate and captain of one's own soul....(emphasis mine).

This book is both enlightening and challenging - forcing me to look beyond the simple explanations of the Gospel, in order so the Lord can have His rightful place in my heart and life.  It reiterates for the point of life: living for who God is, what He wants and letting Him do it. The way God does things, the way He demonstrates His rule, is not the way we would.  We'd bang a gong when a quiet whisper gets more attention.  The Lord works through complete strangers to bring us the kind of comfort we need, at just the right time. 

The experience my Dad had a few weeks ago, on Mother's Day, highlights the principle: on earth as it is in heaven!  The Lord is as interested in our healing as His glory, because our healing is a demonstration of His glory.  It shows the world His Kingdom has indeed come!

We are to be witnesses that the Kingdom has indeed come, whatever form it takes; so we can continue to live in the hope, excitement and expectation of seeing the final fulfillment of it.  We have faith to know that even when we can't see with our eyes, we can see with our hearts.

That was the experience my Dad had on Mother's Day, just a few weeks back.  The way God shows up is never the way we expect.  That's because He is God and we are not.

Sanctuary at my Dad's church
Enjoy today's post - courtesy of my Dad - David Wakefield.  It has encouraged me and hopefully will you too!
At our Mother's Day service during the pastoral prayer, I felt, more than saw, a presence to my right.  I had my eyes closed but could feel the presence sitting right next to me.  I could tell the presence was looking forward, towards someone a couple of rows ahead.  As I prayed, the presence remained. I opened my eyes but the presence was not there so I closed them and the presence was there.
After our communion, I noticed a woman a couple of rows in front of me really weeping.  
Following the service, I approached her and told her about the presence I felt, thinking the presence was looking at her.  She responded with, "Oh, I just know that was my mother, who died a year ago"
That is our God - nothing confusing about it.  The Holy Spirit Himself sat right beside my Dad and made sure he knew it, so my Dad could comfort someone in need.  He sent Himself to be with the woman, for comfort, for healing.  He will do the same for you.  Maybe He already has....

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