Thursday, January 18, 2018

Reflections - Thy Kingdom Come

Our brains are amazing in the way that we can memorize information. We can learn words, songs, poems, and facts that can be recited over and over again. There are things that we recite so many times that our mouths just say the words and our thoughts and attention may often be somewhere else.
What are the things that you have memorized and can recall at the drop of a hat? (Fun fact: I know every word to the rap song "Ice Ice Baby" - and I have no idea why.)
Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance are two good examples of things we memorize. I probably memorized the Lord's Prayer in early elementary school. Every day in prayer I say "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven." To be honest, most days I don't even give a second thought to what those words mean.

Those words are where we start this week in our scripture passage, In the first chapter of Mark we find Jesus in Galilee saying this: "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the good news."
Read Mark 1: 14-20.
'Thy Kingdom come,"
"The Kingdom of God has come near,"
"On Earth, as it is in Heaven"
What the heck does all this Kingdom of God talk really mean? What does it mean to pray for God's Kingdom to come?
That's what I am thinking about this week. In this passage, I think Jesus is telling us with urgency to recognize the ways that God is working in the world here and now - this present Kingdom of God. To repent means to turn around and head in a new direction. Jesus is calling all to quit going through the motions and not just say the words. Jesus says all this Kingdom of God stuff and then begins calling the disciples. He invites fishermen Simon, Andrew, James, and John to follow him and together they will 'fish for people.' The Bible tells us in this passage that they "immediately" up and left to follow him.
Here are some questions I am reflecting on this week after reading this passage:
In what ways do I see God's Kingdom on earth?
What must Jesus have been like for those disciples to "immediately" leave everything behind and follow him?
What things do I need to leave behind to better serve Christ?
This scripture about Jesus gathering his followers reminds me that there is room and a place for everyone in God's Kingdom. Here again, we see that God does not just call kings and community leaders to follow Jesus and share God's love in the world. He calls fisherman, and people with crappy jobs, and people with no status or money - God calls you and me.
Jesus says "If there is a problem, Yo, I'll solve it. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it," Wait sorry - that was Vanilla Ice, not Jesus - but you get the idea.
Some things to think about:
What are some ways that we can participate in bringing about God's Kingdom on earth?
Where is God's love needed the most?
How can we connect our individual skills and gifts to participate in the Kingdom of God on earth?

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