This is all Chapter 1
I love reading the first chapter in a book. There is so much promise, so much potential. The possibility of a story that hasn’t been told yet. Questions that are brought up, situations that arise, problems to be faced, and you, the Reader, have no idea yet how they will be solved.
Our church has been studying the book of Luke, and one of the cool things about studying an entire book is that you don’t get to skip anything! Which means that you get to see things in context. You start in the beginning and work your way through.
I have to say, after weeks of doing this together as a church, that Jesus seems to be on such a different wavelength than the rest of us. It’s like he was on a different page, talking about things that we can barely grasp. And over and over, Jesus seems to be pointing us forward. To something on the horizon, something that he can make out clearly, but that, even if you and I squint as hard as we can and strain our eyes, is only a faint shadow to us. Just a glimmer.
Jesus called it the Kingdom of God. It is what is to come – this kingdom that Jesus was forcefully ushering in.
We would prefer, most of the time, to live in the Kingdom of Me. It’s what we can already see, touch, and experience. Life in the now. We are comfortable here. It’s predictable. We can control it. (At least, we think we can…)
But Jesus did things that gave us glimpses into what is to come. Why did he heal people? Why did he perform miracles, like turn water into wine, or feed five thousand men and their families with five loaves and two fish? Why did he give his disciples power to do the same thing? Why did he raise people from the dead, for goodness sake? To help people with their physical problems, yes. But was there something else? Another reason? Was he really pointing toward the future? Giving us a glimpse of the coming kingdom? Wasn’t he saying – “In your kingdom – the Kingdom of Me – these things aren’t possible. But in God’s Kingdom, healing is natural, experiencing my power coursing through your veins is a daily thing, seeing miracles is as normal as breathing. And those things, they are just a peek at what is to come.”
Which means that all we do right now – everything here – is only Chapter One of the Story. We are just now getting a glimpse of the Real Thing. The new life that Jesus offers. The one that can start now, but moves into eternity.
This…this is Good News. For people who are hurting – from things other people do, or just from life; for people who struggle; for people who know – (you know how you just know?) – that there is more to this life than what’s been advertised.
These books are my own, small attempt to open up eyes and hearts to this reality.
There is more. Much, much more. After all, we are only on Chapter One.
What do you think? Can you see hints of the Kingdom of God in your own life? Do you find yourself longing for God’s Kingdom to come?