Saturday, December 5, 2015

Advent 2015

"A Glimpse of the Kingdom"


We live in between.  Jesus came long ago initiating the Kingdom of God through his earthly presence.  Jesus will come again in the future fully establishing the Kingdom of God on earth as the Lord of all.  We live in between the two.  Since Jesus has yet to return to the earth as Lord, we are not able to experience the fullness of the Kingdom.  Since Jesus has already initiated the Kingdom of God, we can catch glimpses of the Kingdom during our lifetime.  Often these glimpses are referred to as miracles because they allow us to see into God's Kingdom if only for a moment.  In this way, miracles are windows to the Kingdom of God.  Such a window might be a disabled child walking for the first time, or a diseased adult being healed to wholeness, or an angry person experiencing love and forgiveness and then new life, or a hopeless individual discovering a community of faithful believers who sincerely care.

My wife and I recently spent a week in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The weather was perfect, the air was crisp and clear, and the trees were clothed in color.  As we stood on Mt. Mitchell (the highest point east of the Mississippi) looking down upon the other mountain tops, the magnificence of God's creation was apparent.  When I glanced in my wife's direction, I noticed she was smiling.  Smiles were few at that time; she is fighting cancer for the fourth time in her life.  The moment of her smile in that location was a miracle, a clear window to the Kingdom of God.  Through that window I saw a life with no disease including no cancer; a time with abundant smiles due to an ever-present joy; a place where the magnificence of God is experienced every moment.

In the words of Scripture: 

See, the home of God is among mortals.  He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples.  God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away (Revelation 21:3-4).

During these Advent days of preparation, may a window open for you a glimpse of the Kingdom to come.

- Rick Sebastian


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