I am regularly astonished by the thought of God knowing me, knowing my name, knowing the hairs on my head (even and perhaps especially the grey ones), wanting only the best for me. I’m also regularly amazed that God is willing to use my simple human efforts to bring about The Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Are you astonished and amazed that the same is true about you?
Long before any of us were conceived and born, since the very beginning of ever, God said we are good.
And that we are worthy of love.
And that we each hold a special place in The Kingdom that no one else can fill.
Jesus came to show us what it is to live in this confident love, a beautiful mosaic of God’s beloved children, all necessary, needed, and wanted. And loved.
As John tells the good news story, during his last evening with his disciples, Jesus offers a prayer for them and for us regarding our life in this world.
Jesus prays for us! Let that sink in way down deep into your core, way down in the God shaped place of your being. Long before we were born, Jesus prayed for us! And not just some “God bless Whats-her-name” kind of prayer but very specifically that God would protect us as we learn to navigate being Kingdom Citizens in this world.
Jesus sends us into the world not so we can just bide our time until God brings about the new heaven and new earth, Jesus sends us so that we can participate with God in making it on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus sends us into the world to love God, our neighbor, ourselves, and, yes, our enemies.
Jesus sends us out into the world to continue the work of love he showed us how to do. And more than that, Jesus sends us into the world so that we can show the world what it means to live fully as the human beings God created every one to be. The things we do in the name of God we do because of who we are, beloved children of God.
Again, Jesus speaks of joy being made complete. We can only know real joy by knowing the truth of who and whose we are. We are sanctified – a big fancy church word that means to be set apart and made holy for God’s purposes. God chooses to make us holy. God chooses to work God’s purpose in this world – drawing everyone and everything into the kingdom – through us. God chooses us, you and me. Let that sink in.
As citizens of God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, we don’t belong to the world but we live in the world belonging to God for God’s purposes. Let that sink in. Way down deep into your core, way down in the God shaped place of your being.