Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.’
“The gospel is about the Kingdom of God breaking in to our world, even as this world races toward destruction – destruction caused by the very creatures God made in God’s image. To do nothing about this collision course, to choose entropy, is to deny God’s goodness and Christ’s resurrection. To live as resurrection people is to say: ‘I will speak up, I will stand against the evil we inflict on one another, I will sacrifice my privilege for the sake of others, and I will acknowledge God’s image in the face of every human, even those who anger or baffle me. Things are getting worse, but I partner with God to make things better. And even if things continue to get worse, I will still choose hope by working for good.'”
– Rachel Young “Hope as Self-care”
“If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person, a Washington, a Lincoln, a King, a Mandela, and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala, one person can change the world by giving people hope. So, if you want to change the world start each day with a task completed (making your bed). Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are the toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the down-trodden and never, ever give up. If you do these things, the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.”
“Make Your Bed” Former US Navy Admiral, William H. McRaven
One of the primary purposes of the church is to give people hope. All day long we are told that the world is a mess and getting worse. We see it all around us. We are frustrated by the perpetual chaos, hatred, fear, and despair. Jesus confronted people who were in similar situations with a message of hope: “the kingdom of God is among you.” The kingdom is still among us and it is our calling to live our lives with that as the foundation.
It is my life goal to leave this world a little better than it was when I entered. That may seem like a tall order considering the billions of people who seem mired in complacency or, as Ms. Young calls it , “entropy.”
There are times when I get bogged down, overwhelmed by negativity and failure. I get up every morning and make my bed. Admiral McRaven says that’s a good way to start your day. I have known that it was, but I never knew why. He says that it is because it is one thing accomplished. And, if your day has been filled with failure, you come home to a neatly made bed. It really is a good feeling and it gives me hope to get up tomorrow and try it all over again – after I have made my bed.
I believe strongly that the Kingdom of God is among us. And we have every responsibility to live our lives in such a way that it is demonstrated. We don’t always succeed (“Know that life is not fair and you will fail often.”) but that is part of the beauty of the Kingdom of God. When we fail the Kingdom is still here. It is the power of God to overcome all obstacles. It is the power of God to resurrect.
“And even if things continue to get worse, I will still choose hope by working for good.”