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“Born to reign in us forever, Now thy gracious kingdom bring.”
For me, to be a mature, adult disciple of Jesus is to enter into a partnership with God. Together, God and humanity work in the family business of caring for creation and laboring to see God’s dream for the world come true. This hope that God has for us, this dream that God has for the world is what Jesus called the Kingdom of God. This kingdom is to be a new order where those who can’t defend or take care of themselves are given a privileged place, where people experience physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness, where the nations of the world live in peace. I know that I can’t work for the transformation of the world unless first I am healed and changed. I need to make space for Jesus to be born in my own heart, healing my own woundedness, bringing peace within me, creating within me a spirit of justice. Otherwise I can’t do my part to make God’s dream come true, for if I’m not acting out of Jesus-like love and compassion, I’m likely to commit what T.S. Eliot called the greatest treason – doing the right thing for the wrong reason. As with Christmas every year, I see those places within me still waiting, longing to be renewed by the “long-expected Jesus” so that I can continue to do my small part in the unfurling of the gracious kingdom.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please bring the light of your reign into the darkest places within me so that I may join you in bringing to our world your gracious kingdom. Amen.