Too often we pass through the days in our own little world, interacting briefly with others in their own little world. Our worlds overlap a little, and most of the time it is pleasant. A big change in mindset and approach for a Christian is that we are each to be co-habitants of a much larger world: the Kingdom of God – a realm of goodness – the actualization of the line “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.”
Church is a practice ground, a training ground, a safe place to experiment with putting into place Jesus’ instructions and example and making this kingdom realized and real. Here are a few things we all need to remember as we participate in God’s reality.
1. It is all about relationships. It’s partly up to others to reach out to you, but there are others also needing you to reach out to them. Relationships are directly related to time together and shared experiences. Our Sunday School and Wednesday nights are just as much about the shared time together as it is about mentally learning. Every Sunday we have food after church. It saves money, and gives you an opportunity to get to know those people you worship with.
2. It is others’ centered. The more people we have paying attention to the physical, social, and spiritual needs of others, the more those needs will be met so that they, too can participate in the serving. Instead of “what about me,” ask the question “what can I do?” There is always something to do. I ask God this every day. I can only describe the response as “Pay attention, and you’ll see what to do.”
3. God is king, it’s his rules. Our behavior is not only to be life confirming, but also life protecting and life promoting. Each person is made of equal value, and we are to make sure the value God has placed in us is not only protected but also encouraged and promoted. God’s rules are what works, and we can put it to the test. Sundays we will continue to reflect on the words of Jesus for this very purpose. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”
See you at the watering hole.