The Kingdom of God: Big and Small
Dear Kaleid Women,
As we move toward the close of our kingdom of God series of emails, we invite you to be taken by two mysterious realities today, perhaps even letting them touch your heart with encouragement or awe.
First, God’s kingdom is transcendent and bold. The story begins with God pursuing a man, Abraham, in order to bless him and all nations through him. It passes through a series of intense and intentional God-moves aimed at God’s self revelation to Israel through priests, prophets, and kings. At every turn, God-the-pursuer was revealing a transcendent kingdom vision--one designed to make other nations look up and take note when they saw the unique life and worship of Israel. God’s covenant faithfulness, His relentless pursuit, was on systemic display through His relationship with the nation of Israel. God’s kingdom of faithful love and His commitment to bring people into the blessing of fellowship with Him has been beyond the scope of human understanding, planning, or control from the start. And (good news!)...we wake up today in that kingdom.
Where are you in need of a vision of God’s transcendent, bold kingdom today? Where do you need a vision for the kingdom that is not dependent on your understanding, and one that senses God’s pursuit and the transcendent work of His faithfulness?
Second, God’s kingdom is intimate and personal. The kingdom of God moved into the human neighborhood in a new way with Jesus’ advent. God came near, and He did so in a terribly ordinary way. Jesus, embodied, lived out God’s will on earth even as He surrendered to the limits of being a human. Dallas Willard says that the simplest definition of the kingdom of God is “the range of God’s effective will.” The kingdom is where what God wants done is actually done. We can watch Jesus and see that where he went, there was healing, learning, eating, generosity, freedom from sin, parties, feasting, welcome, and honest conversation. Jesus moved through our space and time, putting the world right and doing what God wanted on a particular day and time. Jesus showed us the heart of God as he moved into particular relationships, had particular conversations, and ate particular meals.
Where are you in need of a vision of God’s intimate, personal kingdom today? Where do you need a vision for the kingdom that is not driven by strategies or theory but rather one that senses the invitation to be here, now, with Jesus, following his lead in the intimate “next
steps” of life?
Amazingly, this transcendent, systemic, intimate, personal kingdom of God is still being worked out “on earth as it is in heaven” by those of us who are the Church. And, as Eugene
Peterson so eloquently said:
It turns out that the hardest thing to believe is that God’s work is being worked out under the conditions of our humanity: at picnics, and around dinner tables, in conversations and while walking along roads, in puzzled questions and in homely stories, at weddings, and at funerals. Everything that Jesus did took place within the limits of our humanity. And this is still the way of Jesus among us. And this is what is still so hard to believe.
We wish you the awe and intimacy of the kingdom of God today, friends.
The Kaleid Team