See Your Community: The Kingdom of God
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
One of the three Kaleid lenses is “See Your Community.” Together, we hope to have eyes to see the bigger stories in our cities. Stories that give rise to challenges. Stories that give rise to beauty. Stories of change and stories of tradition. We believe that place matters, and that community narratives are powerful, life-shaping forces. Each of us has gifts to offer and gifts to receive within the stories of our communities.
With this in mind, we are turning to the topic of the kingdom of God over the next several weeks. As women who follow Jesus, another way to think about seeing our “community” is to understand ourselves as citizens in the kingdom of God and to begin to learn the life-shaping power of its stories, too.
Last week, I (Karen) spent some time at a monastery, listening. As I sat in the wooden pew inside the empty cathedral space, I was blessedly aware of the beautiful blue light through the stained glass that spoke of God’s immanence, the curves of the arched ceiling that drew my eyes upward, and the kneeling benches that invited me toward prayer. But just a few minutes into my time of reflection, the acoustics of the space began to magnify the (quiet but not quiet) work of a solitary monk in the altar area. He swept, his metal dustpan clanging loudly on the stone floor. He dusted, his swiffer-like contraption clicking repetitively on the stone walls. At first, I was annoyed by the interruption. But then the interruption became a picture of grace. This monk was working in the ordinary flow of his day. Whether or not he took in the holiness of his surroundings wasn’t clear to me. However, what was clear was God’s invitation to recognize that my work--my ordinary rhythms--happen within sacred space every single day. There is a holy construct that surrounds my daily life.
The holy construct is the kingdom of God.
Jesus opened his public ministry by telling people that there’s good news and that the good news is that the Kingdom of God is here. The community of God’s rule is on the move in the community of human beings. Jesus says in Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Later, in Luke 17, He says, “behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
There is good news, and the good news is that God’s kingdom is here. Whether we know it or not, whether we see it or not, whether the acoustics of our work cause us to look up and recognize that we are at work in a holy space or not, the kingdom of God is at hand.
It’s a huge theological concept, so we know we won’t and can’t do justice to its themes over the next few weeks, but we are excited to explore together what it means for us--Kaleid women--to live in the mysterious, real, ancient, present, coming, current, powerful, quiet kingdom of God. Let’s peer together through the lens of community and seek first the kingdom. Let’s open ourselves to its reality and let’s recognize our ordinary lives as set inside its sacred space.
The Kaleid Team