The ultimate desire for a Christian is to meet God face to face. The Scripture readings for these final Sundays of the Church’s liturgical year remind us of this longing. They speak of the last days which are the prelude to meeting God face to face. Life with God in the future begins with life with God in the present. Looking forward to meeting God fully in the future does not mean we sit back and wait for the time to arrive. Our task is to be builders of God’s Kingdom now. We are to be about the work of fashioning the world that God desires, a world of justice and peace. What materials are needed for the Kingdom construction project?
One of those materials is gratitude. Gratitude gives perspective to the day. Some days are wonderful and thank you comes easily. Other days are painful, and we say thank you anyway. The thank you is not for the pain. It is for the opportunity to connect a bit more compassionately with somebody who is also going through a rough time. Gratitude breeds generosity. If we live with gratitude, generosity comes automatically. After all, grateful for what God has given to us, how can we help but share a portion of what we have?
Reconciliation is another important material for the Kingdom construction project. Reconciliation means we are willing to extend a hand of forgiveness and are open to receiving it. Reconciliation leads to peace. Reconciliation means trading in an agitated and upset frame of mind for peace of mind and heart.
Hope is essential for building the Kingdom of God. Hope means we really believe the new world God desires is possible. We would not start to build a house if we did not think completing the project was possible in the first place. Hope bridges the gap between what is and what could be. Hope is nourished by being inspired by the past successes of ourselves and others in making it through difficult times.
The Kingdom of God begins here, and we are the builders. The materials are gratitude, reconciliation and hope. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get building.
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Rector