This morning I am sitting at my desk absorbed by the beautiful collage I was sent by Joyce Withrow who just finished reading my book Return to Our Senses. It incorporates the words:
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the sight.
I am also sitting here thinking of the words I heard preached at church yesterday by Morgan Schmidt:
God is always about restoration and is working to make all things new. We just need to to wake up to it.
Morgan asked us to imagine with God what a restoration could look like in a world in which the problems are too big for us to cope with. And as I listened to the news this morning the problems were definitely too big to cope with – Israel invading Gaza, wildfires devastating homes and searing hundreds of thousands of acres in Eastern Washington, humanitarian crisis on the U.S. Mexican border, escalating conflict in the Ukraine, ongoing conflict in Syria, and Afghanistan. The list goes on and on and often we cannot cope with so much bad news.
Thy kingdom come we say each time we recite the Lord’s prayer but I wonder if we really believe it. We know we cannot fix the brokenness and sometimes we forget our dreams of what a restored world could look like. Sometimes we forget that God is building a kingdom of righteousness, and abundance, freedom and wholeness for all. A kingdom in which love is the language and peace and joy are everywhere.
What if instead of focusing on the suffering in our world we imagined with God what restoration could look like? What if we groaned with all of creation because of the brokenness of our world and shared the heartbreak of our God who longs to see all things restored and made whole?
And then what if we took note of the ways in which God’s kingdom is already breaking into ours,believing and affirming that any time good, love and beauty are expressed we encounter something of God. What if we allowed these encounters to attune us to imagine the kingdom in its fullness and then went out to bring more goodness and love and beauty into the world.
Whenever we share communion we say the words Do this for the remembrance of me. I think Jesus knew how easily we would let go of his dream of a renewed and restored world. He knew how quickly we would become disheartened when things did not change as we wanted them too. But at the communion table we are encouraged to train ourselves to live as Jesus lived and to imagine and live into the kingdom day by day. We are challenged to commit ourselves to God’s dream of a world made knew and to do the little things we can to see that come into being.