The kingdom of God is here! And at the same time, the kingdom of God hasn’t yet come in full.
That “the already and the not yet” dynamic is pretty easy to understand, at least intellectually. But it’s awfully hard to live by. My wife Rebecca and I feel sometimes our whole lives are a parable of this “already/not yet” tension. Already I’m working at Carey, we’re befriending staff and students, we’re imagining our life in Aotearoa. But we’re not yet actually there! Figuring out how to live here in light of the dynamic that God is calling us to live there can be kind of miserable.
In the case of Jesus’s kingdom, though, we’re not waiting for God to take us somewhere else . . . we’re waiting for him to bring his kingdom here. How do we live in the meantime?
This picture of my kids suggested to me a parable this week. They’re lying in the grass at their grandmother’s feet after spending time with her. They know we’re moving to New Zealand. Of course, they’re excited and sad and scared and thrilled, all at the same time. Yet in their faces I see a joy and carefree rest in the moment that maybe, just maybe, communicates something about how we, as children of the coming King, have been invited to live in this “time between the times.”
May Jesus give us that kind of freedom as we make his kingdom known, and wait for its full arrival.
Michael Rhodes (from Memphis, Tennessee)