Tag Archive: kingdom


Let Them Come

A number of weeks ago we had the opportunity at the start of the school year to pray a blessing over the children in worship. The kids were lining up in the aisle and I was one of eight people praying. The kid would come up and I would ask them for their name and then place my hand on their head and pray over them. I hadn’t put much thought into this element of worship besides the mechanics (like where am I supposed to stand…), then one by one as the kids came forward. More and more I felt like I was participating in something mystical, something special… something divine. I haven’t been able to totally clarify what I experienced, but it was one of those moments where I felt like I caught a dim hint of the Kingdom of God.

Then I was reading a book reflecting on Wesley’s Historic questions. One of the questions I will be answering apart of becoming ordained as a pastor is “Will you diligently instruct the children in every place?”.  The chapter reflected on one of the times Jesus got indignant was when people were getting in the way of the children coming to him.  There I was in worship and we were making a way; a clear path for these children. The book was illuminating a bit of why I think what was happening in that worship service was special.

Then the next week during communion a handful of children would come forward with their parents and they would kneel to pray after taking communion. I found myself again praying over the children feeling connected to something bigger. Maybe God is simply making me more sensitive to my calling as a pastor as it relates to children.

Let them come! They are at the very center of life in the Kingdom.

God, I wonder what you maybe trying to teach us about you and the kingdom as we watch, welcome, and work with the children. Guide us in making a straight path between the children and you. Amen.

Stuff

ClutterI have continued to reflect on my experience of helping out this person move from a very dark place to a shelter (read the previous post here).  One things that has convicted me is that we put in my Buick Lasabre everything that he called “his”.  I had kept some of his belongings in my trunk for a bit, but the first thing I wanted to do was ask him to get ride of some of the items. I saw much of what he had as not having value. I saw much of it as things holding him back. What was hard was the realization of how everything fit into my car and I was wanting him to get rid of some of his stuff, while I couldn’t fit a fraction of what I call “mine” into my car. It will take a very large UHaul to move my stuff. It has made me look around at all the things around my house a little bit differently.

God Almighty, creator of all, help us to have a right relationship with all the stuff of this world. May what we have and how we interact with it be signs of your good kingdom come. Forgive us for the times that we (whether directly or indirectly) take away from those who have little.  May your good kingdom come.
Amen.

[I have posted these online on a delay so there would be a period of time separating when these experiences happened]

Beauty at 15mph

mphOn my birthday my wife suggested I take a long bike ride since I haven’t done much of that lately. It was amazing. I went for about 25 miles (longer than any ride I have done in a long while).  What is funny is no matter how hard I try (granted, I haven’t been training at all) I can never average over 15 miles per hour.  I may hit 42 mph going down hill on Weaver Dairy Road, but at the end of my ride my average will be somewhere between 14 and 15 mph. I noticed something on this ride. In the car going 60 mph down the highway we see things only in broad strokes. Beauty comes in the big picture. We miss so much at 60 mph. Details of beauty and truth that before you finish pointing them out to the kids is already in the rear view mirror. I was wishing I hadn’t ridden alone. There were so many things I noticed that I wanted to share. From the person who was shaking out a rug off the front porch living in a log cabin tucked among the trees to the huge mansion of a house on a hill set far back on acres and acres of cleared land. Beneath me I noticed the cracks in the road forming from the power of water and ice and debris built up from the storm the day before. I was able to notice both the amount of litter and what kind of litter lined the road and also the numerous flowers that were growing in very unexpected places.

I am starting to feel challenged by the rhythms and pace of God’s kingdom. I am wondering if the pace of God’s kingdom fluctuates between the speed of walking and riding a bike. It has been in these moments of riding a bike or walking with my wife that I feel like I see the world clearer. More like it really is, instead of as a blur of hurriedness and business.  It has been in these walks and these rides that I sense a sort of peace that doesn’t seem to happen at 60mph.

Jesus, show me/us the rhythms, speed and pacing of your kingdom. Ease me/us into the grooves and patterns of life that bring peace and joy, mercy and grace, love and healing. Slow me/us down to see the world as you see it. Help me/us to see both the beauty and the brokenness. May your kingdom come and will be done.

Amen

Waiting some more

Peace Temple WP_20131206_005Last week I was having a hard time with the waiting of Advent, but now I am wondering if that is maybe the point. Maybe that is part of the deal.

How long to sing this song?

Maybe it is identifying with God’s people before the great deliverance from slavery. Maybe it is remembering the years of silence before John the Baptist showed up on the scene announcing that the kingdom was uncomfortably close. Maybe it is connecting with the ever changing  body of a pregnant woman that day by day each change of her body is bringing closer what has been hoping for. Maybe Advent is a time to open our eyes to see what is around us in the world that gives us reason to still pray for God’s kingdom to come and will to be done. Recognizing that the cosmos, nations, races, communities, cities, neighborhoods, and individuals are all waiting. Maybe Advent is recognizing that we live somewhere in the mysterious in between of “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

Jesus, I thank you for the struggle of waiting. Help me to rest in you knowing that you have come and you will come. Help me not let waiting turn into idleness, but help me to participate in active waiting, seeking,… preparing.  Creator-redeemer-sustainer God, O come be with us. Teach us how to wait for you.
Amen

So I have found myself singing this song for two weeks now: