A friend recently encouraged me to look for two primary themes as I read the Bible — "Covenant" and "Kingdom." Since then, those things have just been exploding off the page as I read. It's like it opened up a whole new world for me to experience the presence of God in scripture. In this text today, John (the baptizer) has sent some of his followers out to see if Jesus is the one they have been hoping for… the one for whom John has been, "preparing the way." Jesus doesn't respond by handing them a business card or a copy of his certification and degrees. He simply says, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see." What they heard and saw were things like The blind receiving sight, the lame walking, those who had leprosy being cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dead being raised, and the good news being proclaimed to the poor. In other words, what they saw and heard was the "Kingdom of heaven" invading the kingdom of this world. That's what happens in the presence of Jesus. It happened in the wilderness that day and it happens still today. In God's Kingdom there is no sickness or disease… no suffering or poverty. As I look through these same lenses at my own life and in our community the evidence is clear that Jesus is at work, initiating the Kingdom of heaven right before our eyes. It doesn't always look exactly like I expect, but daily I am seeing and experiencing the presence of God much like what is described in this text today.
Today I simply pray as Jesus teaches us to pray… "Father, your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Help me to become more fully aware of your presence and your goodness this day and always!