I’ve been thinking a lot about the Kingdom recently, mainly because of the chapters in Matthew. This morning was another chapter and Jesus ends with some very clear words.
26 This is the Kingdom’s logic: whoever wants to become great must first make himself a servant; 27 whoever wants to be first must bind himself as a slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as the ransom for many.
I’d got the stage of thinking that Jesus parables were showing us what it is like to live in the Kingdom. We’re in and we find a treasure and all we have is worth nothing compared to it. We work on getting used to Kingdom life like we work yeast through a batch of dough – going over and over and over, even pummelling sometimes, until it gets right through us. We don’t need to worry about judging who else is in the net with us, we just need to concentrate on being who and what we are; God will sort the good from the bad. It’s not up to us to judge who deserves what reward. God’s offer is to and for me and that’s all I need concern myself with.
Then I had this imagining – a theme park like Disneyland. No height restrictions so you might find someone who is only a few days old in the Kingdom on the healing and miracles ‘ride’. Or you might find someone who has been around for 50 years still paddling in the wading pool. But as I thought about it and considered the words I quoted above I realised the true citizens of the Kingdom are picking up litter, maintaining the rides, helping others, cleaning up sick. They are offering guidance and advice to others without fancy costumes or fanfare but with love, wanting others to get the most out of the Kingdom.
I don’t think the Kingdom of God is an actual theme Park where we pick and choose rides and activities – or do we? It’s not Disneyland, God hasn’t built the Signs and Wonders roller coaster or the Baptism log flume, we don’t see the fasting tent or the Pray without Ceasing exhibit next to the Gifts of the Spirit concession. In the Kingdom, we get all of those things freely available but do we pick and choose which bits agree with us or offend us? That’s a whole other topic. My point here is that the established, grounded, ‘true’ Kingdom people are the ones who are often unseen or at least often doing unseen things to serve others.
They serve by prayer, constant communion with God for themselves, for me and for you. They serve by supporting those around them with acts, words of love and encouragement even when they don’t feel like it. They serve without thought making coffee, cleaning the kitchen, changing the loo roll, giving that last bit of change and the first fruits of their money or time. Only God really knows them because only He can see the heart.
I doubt I’ve explained myself very well but I know I want to be one of the unseen servants, one whose heart is known by God and whose actions, words and thoughts please Him.