Thursday, September 20, 2007

the Kingdom of Heaven

Our summer here is over, summer holidays have come and gone and everyone has settled into the fall/winter routine of work and school.

Holidays are an important part of people’s lives and for some what they look forward to all year. A lot of research and planning goes into determining where they will go and the more information they have about their place of destination the more prepared they are and able to enjoy their holiday to the fullest.

If you do not know the laws and customs of a foreign country in which you plan to travel, it can quickly spoil your trip … or worse get you into serious trouble !!

I once sewed a wardrobe for Helen, a young lady giving her life to foreign missions. She was going to a tribal village in Africa. I had to sew all her skirts and dresses to hang well below her knees…because it was considered extremely obscene for a woman to show her knees, while it was perfectly okay for her to go topless.
My daughter’s friend travelled to the Middle East with her husband. It was a hot day and she was enjoying the day in shorts and a t-shirt. She became increasingly annoyed at the lewdness of the Middle East men who came up to her to pitch her bottom. She didn’t understand until she was told that in that country only prostitutes dressed like she was dressed. With her French dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair she looked the part perfectly!

It is important to familiarize yourself with the laws and customs of a foreign country before you visit – because you will have no recourse if you disobey them….your laws at home have no jurisdiction over the laws of another country.

I am sometimes befuddled at how carefully people plan their temporary vacations that last for a couple of weeks, but pay so little heed or attention to a destination spot that presumably everyone wants to go to … the Kingdom of Heaven.

If we were to check out the brochures that advertise this out-of-this-world paradise what would we learn about it?

Jesus Himself wrote the brochures and puts the information in word pictures.
He tells us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, what is important for us to know if we are planning to journey in this Kingdom.

*****

The Kingdom of origin was so elevated in the heavens and of such extreme living conditions that it was impossible for any citizen of the kingdoms of earth to even think of making it a place of destination.

So the kindly Father King of the Kingdom of Heaven found a way to super-impose it upon the very earth that people found so compatible with their needs.
It became a secret Kingdom…. here but also there…..real but not seen…. spiritual but not physical.
The beauty and goodness of the kingdom is allowed to grow together with the weeds and tares of the kingdoms of this world.

It is a kingdom that started very small.
Its influence in the earth’s kingdoms barely noticeable when it first came but it began to grow and spread until it could not be ignored….not unlike the tiny mustard seed …from the small herb family yet it grows into a tree large enough for birds to nest in.

It is a kingdom that has permeating influence. Where the kingdom is - everything around it is influenced.
The Kingdom of heaven by virtue of its presence brings goodness and mercy and kindness that multiplies like leaven even in a sinful evil world.

Because it is a secret, invisible Kingdom….it can be easily over looked. People can walk right past it and never notice but there is always this one or that one who catches a glimpse of the treasure this kingdom holds.
He sees it buried in a field and rushes out to sell everything he has to buy the field with the treasure of the Kingdom.
There is nothing of value in the kingdoms of this world that can compare with the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Finding it is like finding the very valuable pearl that a merchant has been searching everywhere for. How gladly one gives up everything …to grasp hold of that one priceless jewel!!!

There are men and women who are secret agents in this kingdom.
They search out those who are interested in learning about the King and His Kingdom, those who are looking for purpose and meaning in their lives . With these pilgrims they share wonderful treasures, old and new from the storehouse of knowledge of Truth that belong to this Kingdom.

The Father King is so eager to bring as many as possible into this Kingdom of His that he sends out huge dragnets that bring people in. Sadly, even though they have been compelled to come in, not all want to stay and are cast out, forever separated from those who do.

In this Kingdom of Heaven there is no unemployment… no touristy activities.
Everyone who comes into this Kingdom must work and the wages are determined by the Father King himself - no union rules apply here.
Some may think the wages unfair.
Those who work least are paid as much as those who labour long and hard. But the Father King’s word is final…and his judgments are true and just.

The Father King also demands that his example be followed by all who journey in His Kingdom.
He is a Ruler of great mercy, forgiving freely those who find themselves in trouble. If someone in his kingdom refuses to extend this same mercy to others he is swiftly brought to judgment and punished accordingly.

There is something beautifully romantic about this Kingdom of Heaven.
It is all about a love story, that will culminate in the marriage of the Father King’s Son.
The Father King is wanting many to come and be part of this wedding but will only allow those to come who wish it with their whole hearts.
Like the ten virgins, only five were whole hearted …the other five were not diligent to do all they could to make themselves ready.

The Son who the Father King gave the rule over this kingdom, is not presently visible.
He has gone away on business and has left his servants in charge of the kingdom.
Some are faithful and are doing everything they were instructed to do but others are a disgrace to the Son and are taking liberties with their freedom and are living for their own indulgences. They are tarnishing the reputation of this glorious Kingdom and will be in trouble when the Son returns.
So it is important that when you are travelling in this Kingdom that you are careful to discern who are the true servants of the King…and who are not.

The wedding feast is yet to come…. All is almost ready…. The Son could return at any time to take his bride and the celebrations will begin.
Then the Kingdom of heaven will no longer be a secret, invisible Kingdom but one that is once again lifted to high places and its glory will be visible to all!!

I am a citizen - a secret agent- of this Kingdom of Heaven….. are you ????

(based on Matt.13, 18, 20, 22, 25)

2 comments:

Lovella said...

The ticket has been purchased and paid in full. It's a little like being on standby . .

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Just waiting for the coach to leave the station...got the ticket, and am SO glad that for that particular trip, I will not have to be bother with packing a bag or co-ordinating a wardrobe for possible weather conditions or events.
A white robe, presented upon arrival will be perfect for eternity!

See ya there!