Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Coming Kingdom

The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed something - it changed everything. Like an earthquake beneath the ocean, even a major event can go unnoticed. But the earthquake produces a wave - one that can move and spread relatively unseen.

Those of us who have embraced the fulfillment of God's Kingdom attempt to live into a world that is just beginning to ripple. The Kingdom is coming alive, while the former world, the world that seems most real and firm and predictable around us, is dying slowly - a world not long for this world.

Like sunbathers on the beach, unaware of just how quickly and extremely their world is about to change, most people sit calmly, going through the motions. It's an imperfect metaphor, but I feel like Chicken Little - running around like mad because the wave of the Kingdom is coming. That's the sort of urgency that makes us evangelicals.

For me it's not an urgency to avoid hell or even to embrace heaven. It's an urgency that all people, all of creation, embrace the life we were created to live, to find our place in this crazy world.

It's that sense of mission that spurs an alternative lifestyle. You see, screaming about the coming tsunami while sitting on the beach with everyone else doesn't bring with it a lot of credibility. Sort of like Noah building a giant boat in the middle of the desert, a strange request requires a strange lifestyle from time to time. Either we're crazy or we're on to something.

There's really no in between in the Kingdom of God. We're fruitlessly hoping in old wives tales and idealistic dreams or we're ahead of the curve. In my saner moments I embrace the later; in my more radical, I appreciate the first. I don't mind being the dreamer - John Lennon is good company.

I like the fact that God's Kingdom comes in ways that make no sense, defy logic, and frustrate the realistic parts of ourselves. I can give you an explanation of the rationality of belief - and I can make a pretty good case; I just don't like to. The Kingdom is the outrageous notion that life is more than just an average existence punctuated with flashes of brilliance.

I'm not willing to settle for flashes. There's a world of love, justice, peace, joy, forgiveness, and grace. It's just over the horizon and the flashes are just the beginning. It's not enough to simply believe.

There's a big wave coming; we gotta be ready to ride.

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