Posted by Forrest Parkinson

Q 79

Jesus was asked
“When will the Kingdom of God arrive?”
He replied
“You won’t be able to see the Kingdom of God when it comes.
People won’t be able to say
“it’s here” or “it’s over there.”
The kingdom of God is among you
Borg-Powelson-Riegert Reconstruction (1996)

Luke 17: 20-21
The Coming of the Kingdom
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.’

Dear Jesus Way Friends

Can you hope in the ordinary?

My first round of psychoanalysis began in my final year of Seminary.  Sometime, not long after I had been ordained as a priest, my analyst made a remarkable comment (interpretation.)

“So, it’s not OK with you to be ordinary.”

My whole ego-world turned upside down.  Pride, humility, arrogance, insecurity, ambition, value system, even my vocation and purpose for living, all flared up! Like a house of cards in a puff of wind. The cards where all there, just knocked down to be picked up again.

Special is better… right? Maybe not.

I had confused “sacred” with “special.”

I complained to my analyst. After all, a priest, by definition, is special and set apart. I was tasked (and anointed) to focus on the most special moments of human life; pointing out how God was then arguably present and make the relevant connections so God could be known at all times in the less obvious light of ordinary life. I was about illuminating the ordinary with the special/sacred.

So, is a Baptism more special/sacred than changing a diaper? Is the wedding night more special/sacred than marriage night # 1,320 after stress squabbles the prospects of an early morning? Is graduation day more special/sacred than the grind of an afternoon on algebra problems?

More special? … Yes, obviously.  These are moments set apart.
More sacred? … Not at all. Not if you believe God is present.

Changing diapers, forgiving foibles, and dutifully grinding through work all express the committed loving of care, mercy and devotion.

The committed loving of care, mercy and devotion are an embrace of the Kingdom of God. We experience that sacred reign through acting on our citizenship. When we follow the teachings of Jesus we learn to know ourselves and others as children of God. We are privileged to become aware.

The Jesus Way is to explicitly value the Holy Spirit that binds God’s Children together in the full experience of human living. The Jesus Way is to be aware and seek increased awareness of the holy quality of our neighbor. In honoring and loving our neighbor we discover what that reveals about our sacred selves.

Sacred applies as much to the special as the ordinary.
It’s OK to be ordinary. And it’s OK to be special.
Bidden or unbidden, God is present.
Pray for friends who say;

“Look, here it is!” or “There it is!”
For, in fact,
the kingdom of God is among you.’

seeking Jesus’ way

Next Week
(in recognition of Easter Sunday)

Q 82
Jesus said to his followers
“you have stayed close to me
through all my trials.
You will eat and drink with me
In the realm of God.”
Borg-Powelson-Riegert Reconstruction (1996)

Matthew 19:28 (NRSV)
Jesus said to them,
‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things,
when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory,
you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:28-30 (NRSV)
‘You are those who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer on you,
just as my Father has conferred on me,
a kingdom,
so that you may eat and drink
at my table in my kingdom,
and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.