Friday, July 09, 2010

Scripture Saturday

The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:2

I always wondered about this verse.  If the kingdom of heaven was "at hand" when Jesus was on earth, then what happened?  Where is it now?  Why all the pain on the earth?

The kingdom of God is WITHIN (you). ~Luke 17:21

Now *that* is news.  That is *good* news!  It also makes perfect sense in light of the fact that the world is still far from "the kingdom of God."  Because the kingdom is not something imposed from above.  Indeed, Jesus says in Luke, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!" or "see there!" For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." Jesus did not come to earth to set up the kingdom and then leave. He came to earth to declare the kingdom which was already present among us from the Creator.

This also makes sense in light of the verse "you must be born again".  We, each of us individually, has to find and live that kingdom that is within us.  Each of us has to be still enough to find God, who is dwelling "in the cool of the evening"(Genesis 3:8)--in the quiet of our heart.  We have to get our minds and emotions out of the way and listen to God who dwells in the heart.

This message is more urgent today than ever.  We have invented an increasing array of addictive things with which to distract ourselves and ultimately, keep us from recognizing God's presence within us and within each other.  We need to carve ourselves time "in the cool of the evening" or morning, to be with God; to reconnect and recognize (re-cognize or bring to mind) the Presence that God has gifted humanity with and remember (again, re-member or bring together again) that we do have a Creator, and a purpose to our existence both in our present life on this earth, and in the one to come.

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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