Here are some quick raw thoughts because they need to be remembered and I have no time to pursue them far today. Yesterday morning I sat in Starbucks en route to a day of work with Safe Families in Indianapolis. (Safe Families is a ministry we are helping to begin in our community.) I read the first segment out of a new treasure, Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. The author spoke of the work of preparing for Christ’s second advent and it was vivid to me, what we are undertaking and why. Why bother with Safe Families? We have plenty to fill our lives without it, plenty that is noble and holy, and the work always seems endless and unfinished.
So here’s my reason. Lately I find that my heart is consumed with longing for Christ’s kingdom to come, finally, to this earth. I know it is a certain reality, but it will most likely be a long time in coming, longer than I have to live, just like the scores of people who waited for Christ’s first intrusion into our story. Waiting, in me at least, has a side effect an enormous amount of pent-up energy. So we turn to kingdom work as a way to diffuse that energy. It is not an act of obligation or duty, really. It is an act of faith. Not for a moment do I think that enough of us, doing enough things, can bring Christ’s kingdom. Only Christ can bring His kingdom, and when He does our work is going to be completely irrelevant. If we remember it at all in the blinding light of the new realities He ushers in, it will look puny. But we do this work in faith because we are making a statement. “This,” we say “is what Christ’s kingdom looks like.” Justice, mercy, peace. This is what we believe in, so in pursuit of integrity, we make our own lives look like what we are longing for, hard as it is, futile as it is. It is still a pursuit that makes a statement: Christ’s kingdom is coming, and my heart is given to it.