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Rejoice! Our King is coming. He is highly blessed, our Christ and Messiah. One foretold, whose way is being prepared for Him. With joy, the day of anticipation came near. The birth of this one, this Jesus. Yet it passed by, nearly unseen. For He is the king of an unseen kingdom. An eternal reign, on a timeless throne, for a kingdom unlike any we’ve known. In the dark of night a light was born, a light inextinguishable, a light that has shown since before time began. A light that speaks hope and grace. A light born in humility, in destitution, enfleshed, and undiminished. A light of revelation for the nations.
Within creation and history Jesus was born. He grew up, He proclaimed the reality of His kingdom, He was betrayed, He was executed, He rose from the dead, He ascended and He claimed His throne. To take up His rightful place. A kingdom beyond our sight, and beyond the horizon of creation. A kingdom that is unlike any that can be, we struggle to understand it. We struggle to understand Jesus. We struggle to follow the way that Jesus showed us to. It is easy to lose sight of Jesus in the thicket of our lives, relationships, and communities. Both the goodness and evil of our times draw us away from His narrow path.
Let us make every effort to find this narrow path. Let us rest upon it instead of venturing to safety elsewhere. Each time our strength recovers, let us continue towards the narrow gate at its end. Jesus spoke rather directly about His kingdom. This Kingdom of God that is coming. Upon this path, let us be people of grace, mercy, and hope. Let us lift up the least among us, and carry those who can no longer walk. Yet, we must let others confidently take their own paths. Let the rich, the powerful, and the violent leave this boring, quiet, dusty, and mangled trail. Instead, call out to those enticed to follow their ways, examples, and calls. That our love, as a reminder of God’s love, might give them the strength and courage to stay.
For the kingdom is coming, and there is no stopping it. Even now, it is taking hold. From small beginnings it will grow strong and create refuge for life. “It is like a mustard seed. That someone took, and tossed into their garden. There it grew and became a tree where the birds of the air nested in its branches.” [Luke 13:19] It will work its way in and through all things. A day is coming where all of creation will be transformed, being elevated, by the Kingdom of God. For “it is like yeast that a woman took and working into three large measures of flour till it all was leavened.” [Luke 13:21] God establishes His kingdom. A kingdom that is more than we can understand, and continues advancing beyond our sight.
Immeasurable are the ways and things God has done for us. Let the overwhelming vastness of this reality draw your gaze into the heart of God. For the longer and deeper we let the incomprehensible pierce our hearts, the more natural it is to forfeit everything. To lay it all down that we might get to gaze again. To let our souls rapture with wonder and stillness. That, against logic and description, we believe Jesus when he speaks of a treasure.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a person found it, they hid it again, and then in their joy went and sold all they had, and bought that field." Matthew 13:44
More so, they did not give up all they had on a whim or out of ignorance. The Kingdom of God is not a scam. Its reality permeates the foundations of creation itself. Jesus continued, describing the reaction to greeting the fullness of the Kingdom of God.
"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls. Upon finding one pearl of exceptional worth, they left to sell everything they owned, and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46
The greatness of His Kingdom is beyond comprehension, and yet we understand this – it is worth giving all I am and all I have. Let us not wait to draw close to Jesus, and to start experiencing more of all that awaits us. Direct and drive your life towards the Kingdom. Following Jesus in the ways he lived, and the things he taught. Draw near to God so that there is nothing you would cling to over the Kingdom and eternity with our triune God of love.
What is it that supports, guides, and gives life to the Kingdom of God? Love, and only love. A Kingdom that Jesus taught us to pray for, to pray that it would come among us.
For forgiveness wasn’t the goal of Jesus. Forgiveness was given, so we might enter the Kingdom of God. To forever be under His reign, His lordship, and breathing in His love. To inhale and exhale divine love. For the foundation of this kingdom is love, its walls are grace and mercy, and its doors are our joyful hope. Take up your cross and follow Him into His kingdom. To meet Jesus in the cross-section of eternity and today. Living now, discover the kingdom of God that is just behind the veil of our reality, and dwelling within us.
The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed. Neither will they say, 'Look, here it is', or 'There it is.' For behold, the Kingdom of God is within your midst. Luke 17:20-21
The Kingdom of God is within our midst, and it is within us. Let us desire to live righteous lives. Remember, it is not what goes into our bodies that make us unclean. Jesus taught it is what comes out of our hearts that make us clean. Allow the counselor that was sent, the Holy Spirit, to reveal with grace, in gentleness, what is next to be made clean within you. Let us not delay. Accept God’s invitation to grow in righteousness. “That flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” [1 Corinthians 15:50] May it feel like home when we step through those gates. Like we are finally home. No longer pilgrims wandering foreign lands.
Rejoice! For we are home. The Kingdom of God is within you.
Rejoice! Christ the King is the one who is to come. Let Him reign in your heart.
Rejoice! Let all in love cry out
Rejoice! Our Christ and King approaches.
Rejoice! Your home is near. In silent moments may you enter through the gates of your heart to find the Kingdom of God within. Let the love, peace, and joy of these moments sustain you, motivate you, and grow your capacity for love. For the foundation of the Kingdom of God is love. This love is the foundation of all things. A love without condition or end. May your love make us pilgrims on a journey to the gates of your Kingdom. A journey into the depths of your love. May your Kingdom come.
These are invitations to deeper engagement and reflection. As far as you find them helpful, may you find time to reflect on them in solitude, quiet, and with the tender gracious presence of God.
- As you journey along the narrow path that leads to the kingdom, what is an encouragement from Jesus that would lift your spirit?
- Think on the Kingdom of God. What descriptions that Jesus gave does the spirit bring to mind? What in this description can you enjoy, appreciate, prepare for, and/or look forward to?
- When is a time you felt close to the tender heart of God? Looking back, how might that time impacted you?
- Invite the Lord to let you melt into rest within the Love of God which grows in your heart. Set an alarm for 20 minutes and drift into a quiet place of inner contemplation.
- For Ministers: The book of Acts concludes, stating that Paul was “proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ openly and without hindrance.” [Acts 28:31] Are there ways that the Kingdom of God may need to be more central in your life and ministry?
This Lectio Divina is “the Parable of the Vineyard Workers” from Matthew 19:27-20:16 and is read by Jordan Prins. It is from the Urban Monastic Translation of Matthew. It is read three times and concludes in 15 minutes.
After the First Reading Meditate.
After the Second Reading Pray.
After the Third Reading Contemplate.
Rejoice! Our King & Christ approaches.
Jesus, share with us your joy.
Your way is long, and the path narrow.
Yet, your light guides my steps.
Overlay Image: Paul Prins taken 18 March 2006 in Carcassone, France.
Base Image: Paul Prins taken 24 November 2022 in the Marais of Paris.