Friday, December 01, 2006

Living in the new world today

This is one of the hardest things to believe: that "the kingdom of God" is not something in the distant future, or in another place altogether, but that it starts here and now. We are invited to live as though it is already here, and this is possible if we practise what Jesus preached and did. Of course it's hard, because it involves "going against the grain" of so many of our 'natural' reactions (or we're told that they're natural??). Take the example of being hurt by what someone says to you. When it happens to me, I get upset - don't you? And there's nothing wrong with being upset or saying you're upset. But then there's the challenge: Jesus says pray for those who hurt you. In 'worldly' terms, it sounds crazy! But in terms of 'living in the new world today', it's an important first-step towards breaking the age-old cycles, and making God's kingdom a reality. Of course, what helps to make this happen is other people who walk with you: so I give thanks to God wholeheartedly for those people who listen to me when I'm upset, who allow me to be angry, who give me the space, and who pray for me. It's because of them, that I can begin to find the strength to pray for those who hurt or misunderstand me.