Today: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Kingdom of God: here, but not yet?    (7/21/2019 )

“We're not going to Scotland; it always rains up there!” I said. “Let's go south”.

Sandra and I had been discussing where we would go for a holiday. Having been a regular visitor as a child, and a vocal advocate of Scotland’s rugged highlands, she’d been enthusiastic about making a return visit. So we went. 

There we were, in the car, heading towards the reputedly mysterious grandeur of Glencoe. I was looking forward to the promised experience of this historic and awesome sight.  And as we crested the top of the pass into the glen, there it was laid before us... drizzle, low cloud,  and fog! Visibility no more then 10 metres.

But as we descended into the glen, Sandra gave me a running commentary on the panoramic view that I was missing—the mountains that could be seen, the river, lake, historic village, the atmospheric site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. Of course, I would have to take her word for it. 

But wait a moment: in a sudden swirl of mist I caught a brief glimpse of a snow-capped mountain glinting in a shaft of sunlight through the mist... but then it was gone again. Did I really see it? Sigh… maybe next year.

And if we are honest, and read the bible carefully, we find the Kingdom of God is a bit like that. 
Jesus told his followers, and others who would listen, that as he was present among them, healing the sick, setting demon-oppressed people free, showing compassion, the Kingdom of God had in fact 'come upon them'.  And Jesus sent his followers out too, to be part of the mission, and proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God.

But a few decades later, when Christians were being hounded and persecuted by the Romans , and evil seemed to be triumphing over good, it must have taken some real faith to continue believing that the Kingdom of God was still among them, and they were still part of it. Like the clouds of cloud, mist and rain that concealed the reality of Glencoe from me, the Kingdom was not so visible just then.

Nevertheless, as Jesus said, the Kingdom really is here, though for now we may only catch glimpses of it through the mists.

On a holiday a couple of years later I did see the famed  glories of Glencoe for myself, revealed in some rare spring sunshine. It was a far greater experience than I could have imagined. And one day too we will see the Kingdom of God it in all its splendour, when Jesus returns or calls us home. 

Pray: Lord, sometimes it doesn’t seem like your kingdom isn’t in the here-and-now at all—there is so much bad stuff going on the world. Please open my eyes to see the values of your kingdom being worked out where I live. Amen.

Think about: Have you ever sat down and read a book of the Bible in one go? Try reading the book of Matthew. You easily find it online. Particularly note the many parables and sayings of Jesus which refer to the Kingdom of God.

Challenge: What can you do in the coming week that will help others to see the presence of the Kingdom here and now?

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