ADVENT : the season of preparation.
A time to prepare our hearts and minds
to celebrate the wonder of how Christ came
and more importantly how Christ still comes.
To keep this season we must do more than say
‘thy Kingdom come’.
We need to ask ourselves:
what do these well used words mean,
and how is the church,
how am I allowing my life to be changed and shaped by them?
The Kingdom of God is not another worldly realm above the bright blue sky.
We have been commanded to pray that God’s Kingdom will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus said: ‘If it is by the finger of God that I bring healing,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you Now!'
When we pray: ‘Your Kingdom come’
we are not only looking forward in joyful expectation
for the time when all will be completed in Christ;
we are affirming that we long to join Christ in his vital saving work.
‘On earth’ means starting with me- in my life,
and in the life of the world he has entrusted to us.
So what lies at the heart of this Kingdom?
The Kingdom brings true freedom.
Freedom from preoccupying anxiety and stressed out lives.
Freedom from meaningless existence -from a journey that leads only to death.
Freedom from an over inflated ego, a self-centred universe.
Freedom from the constant drive for fulfilment
or the enslavement of living it up, eat, drink and go clubbing –
for tomorrow we may not be here.
Freedom from the distortion of eternal youthfulness.
Freedom from the myriad voices telling us how to self improve.
Freedom from the ever -thirsty gods of fashion, possessions,
wealth, power, sex, and fame.
Freedom from the media’s constant veneration of food, drugs,
drink and all that expensive perfumes and flash cars are meant to achieve.
The Kingdom of God is always defeating evil
and bringing us the gifts of love, peace, hope, and joy
both cosmically and in the detail of our daily lives.
In Christ the many forms of evil are defeated on the cross
and wherever the Risen Christ is allowed to reign.
Above all freedom means embracing fully God’s forgiveness
that empowers us to forgive those who have deeply hurt us.
The Kingdom assures us that there will be an end – point
a climax, a drawing together –
Biblically and liturgically expressed as the return of the
Messiah in glory and power.
But we will not be zapped up to a heavenly land even dropped into a paradisaical garden.
Heaven will descend to earth, we will be married by Christ the Bridegroom.
All this will not come about through a conquering power
but through the transforming power of Love and Peace
at work in all who would follow the Prince of Peace
But how and when will all this happen?
Gradually Christ’s followers realised that his prayer
‘Your kingdom come….on earth’ had come true.
God’s kingdom had come in Palestine, in Jerusalem,
on Calvary and from the empty tomb,
in the heart of the believer who could say and live in response to: My Lord and my God!
Yes – the Advent of the Lord is not pie in the sky when all die
We are being directed away from the Kingdom we may have hoped for or the one we would prefer,
to the Kingdom for ever given through encountering
the life, death and resurrection of Christ now!
Yes The glorious indescribable climax is to come
but The Day of the Lord begins NOW!
How are you responding?