In Sunday’s sermon I tried to explain how difficult it is to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. I used a quote from the great Presbyterian preacher and author Fred Buechner, who said the kingdom is not so much a place as it is a condition. Then he said the kingdom is YOU . . .
If we take that statement seriously, it causes us to shudder when we think of all the times our thoughts and actions are anything but the kingdom. However, if the kingdom is both here and there, now and then . . . I have hoped that “there” and “then” the image of the kingdom will be a little clearer! But the good news is that even in the “here” and “now” if we really pay attention, we can catch a glimpse of the kingdom:
- I see the kingdom in the passion of someone like Dottie Kelly who works diligently all the time to make a difference in Haiti. And I see it when our congregation spent over a thousand dollars yesterday buying items from Dottie’s Creations of Hope to support her mission.
- I see it when I look at our angel tree and realize that this congregation in just two weeks has signed up to provide really nice Christmas presents for 95 children who live in one of Charleston’s poorest areas of town.
- I HEAR the kingdom when Crystal treats us to a beautiful piano offertory like yesterday when she played “My Tribute.”
- I see the kingdom in the faces of our children when they come up with some of the most profound answers to my questions for the Time with Children during worship . . . who knew they could be so theological!
When I am feeling discouraged about the state of the church, or my ministry is not living up to my own expectations, or I just think we could all do and be a little bit better, I am reminded that the kingdom is still far off, it’s there and then . . . and in the meantime, I just need to pay closer attention!!
Thank you for helping me see the kingdom.