Read John 18:25-40
“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.” (John 18:36 MSG)
Black Friday is a mystery to me. I know there are lots of good deals in the stores, but I’m amazed each year at the frenetic energy that goes into shopping on this day. It’s gotten to the point where for some, Black Friday actually now begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend. I don’t get it. At least I didn’t read any stories about people being trampled to death this year. For so many it seems like how much stuff we have is “King”… or at least it is a reflection of the kind of kingdom we are building in this world.
Yesterday was “Christ is King” Sunday on the church year calendar. Jesus is King, but where does that intersect with us today? Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world…” Well, I think a lot of people are asking, “Where is it?” We long for the Kingdom of God to become more real here and now because sometimes it seems like things are falling apart all around us… and our pursuit of stuff isn’t cutting it It is only dragging us further down. Jesus, you teach us to pray, “Your kingdom come…” Well, we need to put our hands on it… touch it, taste it, smell it, etc. How can your Kingdom move from just being something abstract or something we long for in the future? We need your Kingdom to come here and now.
Do you ever find yourself asking these kinds of questions? Expressing these kinds of longings?
If we want to know what the Kingdom of God looks like, we have to look to Jesus who is the King of this Kingdom. He is King and he embodied the Kingdom by how he lived.
When we look to Jesus we see the Kingdom coming in the big stories:
- Healing Stories
- Calming the Sea
- Feeding 5000
These are big stories, but many of them seem out of reach for us… even though they’re not. But we also see the Kingdom coming in the seemingly little things Jesus does.
- He ate with people… tax collectors and sinners.
- He spent time with people… made friends who were more like family.
- Cried with people. He shared in and stood with people in their hurts.
How do we begin to join with Jesus in his Kingdom work in the world? How do we begin to experience the Kingdom come? How begins with who.
Maybe the big things are out of reach for us at this point… but as we grow in faith they won’t be. Take a look around you this week. Who can you bless with you time? Your skill? Your resources? Your presence? Kingdom living can begin as simply as bringing a Turkey sandwich to a shut-in or helping a neighbor hang a picture on the wall.
If we don’t take the simple steps to begin joining Jesus in embodying his Kingdom, then no matter how much stuff we have (even if we found it at deeply discounted prices) then we are missing out on the Kingdom.
Imagine if we could take the Black Friday passion and energy and harness it for Kingdom living. EVERYONE WOULD KNOW CHRIST AS KING!