Tag Archives: Building the Kingdom of God

Powered by the Spirit

Advent 
December 24, 2017

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38

Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her. –Luke 1:34-38

Mary mirrors most of us in her response to the angel’s message. Our assignments may differ markedly, but her response is most likely similar to ours: How can this be since I am so young, so old, so tongue-tied like Moses, or not a trained soldier like Gideon called to lead an army? Do we have the courage to say Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word?

Each of us and all of us, created with unique skills and talents, are needed for God’s Kingdom coming to fruition. I worked at a large city teaching hospital some time ago where highly skilled surgeons performed many surgeries each day. The success of their work was dependent on the dedication of the crews that cleaned the operating theaters before and after each procedure to assure a safe and sterile environment. All members of any team must be fully committed to their duties as all other members are. All members of any team also must be willing to stretch their skills and talents when working for excellence in outcomes.

There is nothing more vital in our world today than moving toward a Kingdom ruled by love. When we are the one expected to take a courageous role in building that Kingdom, we can trust that the Holy Spirit will be with us each step of the way. When we are called to clear the way for the courageous work the Spirit is with us also.

Prayer: Lord, lead me to do your work whatever you are calling me to do. Help me accept the Spirits guidance in all that I do. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

Streams of Living Water

ocean of loveLiving in the Spirit
October 22, 2014

Scripture Reading: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17

Turn, O Lord! How long?
   Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
   and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
   and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
   and prosper for us the work of our hands—
   O prosper the work of our hands! — Psalm 90:13-17

This scripture is introduced by the heading, A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. I could certainly understand Moses praying: Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Of course, we should remember that Moses grew up in the lap of luxury—the House of Pharaoh. We do not know exactly when he learned he was a Hebrew. Perhaps he remembered from the time his biological mother weaned him. Perhaps he discovered it by accident as a young man. When he came upon an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrew slaves, Moses killed the Egyptian and then ran for his life. I am sure as he fled he had many more questions than answers with all that history ruminating in the back of his mind. He spent several years in the employee of the man who became his father-in-law. Until one day he saw a burning bush as sacred ground, took of his shoes, and approached it. He made the conscious decision to turn his life over to God.

As the prayer continues we see that finding God does not equal an escape from all of life’s woes into some type of never, never land. It equates to a lot of hard work and in Moses’ case dangerous work. Finding and following God means that we have signed on to be the workforce that is building God’s kingdom here on earth right now. Based on the laws that Moses later receives at Mount Sinai the tools we have to work with involve loving God and letting God’s love channel through us to all of God’s children until eventually opening ourselves to receive God’s love channels back through them.

Prayer: God of rivers flowing to oceans, help us build channels of love throughout the world that merge with the paths of love streaming from all your people until the whole earth is abundantly awash in your love. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.