Monday, April 01, 2013

Pockets of heaven on earth


When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, "...he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations...'" (Luke 24:45-47)
Preaching "repentance and forgiveness" - that is indeed what has happened ever since Jesus died and rose again.
I've been reading about the Easter story and am thinking more about what happened after, the resurrection that we celebrated yesterday. What a wonderful story it is!
The world has changed so much since then. The most common way of living before Jesus's ministry was one of pride and retaliation. Jesus's dying and rising ushered in a new way of living for those who followed Him. It ushered in God's reign - God's way - the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven as some parts of the Bible call it). The way of love and reconciliation and healing and hope has been preached ever since.
In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray "...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God's will is being done on earth today. Don't you see pockets of heaven all around you? I know, there's a lot of pain and struggle and ugliness. But there are also little pockets of heaven in our community and - indeed - the whole world. People are helping the poor and the sick. They are working to protect the environment. We can all help to make such pockets of heaven happen. We can help build God's kingdom - little by little, each of us in our own way, as we are led by God.
I can see God's kingdom happening for people living with mental illnesses, at least in part. Although there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness, as there is for a lot of other things, there has been improvement. When my book Riding the Roller Coaster was published, there were few people with mental health issues telling their story. Today there are many books out by those who live with mental illness. More positive stories are being covered in newspapers and magazines and on TV. And look at the Living Room ministry. That is definitely a kingdom builder. Can't you see how God's reign is getting stronger all the time?
Today I'm looking out on a sunny day. So happy for it, because in our part of the world we haven't had much sun this year. Our garden isn't looking too great yet. There's a lot of cleaning up to do after the winter. But we have two or three pockets of heaven happening here: We have daffodils - my favourite colour - yellow. I experience God when I thank Him for them. I worship God when I photograph them.

I pray you will find many pockets of heaven in your life, in your work and play...and in your neighbourhood.
   

Happy Easter!...Jesus Christ has risen! God's kingdom has come.

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1 comment:

Christina Rose said...

what a beautiful reminder! thank you for that :)