The Reign of God as discovery confounds our expectations. Just when we think we know what we want and what this 'God' stuff is all about and the way we must be to be a part of this Reign, we discover it is more - or maybe less. The Reign of God as discovery does not allow us to own it and know it all - for there is always something beyond our grasp. Maybe something that is not yet - maybe something we are not willing to have be a part of the reign as we would have it. The Reign of God as discovery is Peter's time on the roof with and sheet of animals displayed before him - or Paul losing his sight. Bam! Right in the middle of the way we would go, God's Reign moves into our path and we 'discover' it. Not. We run into it - we step into it - we find ourselves in a reality that is not the reality we have known so well. We discover a new life. The life was always there - always will be. And yet, it often takes a surprising moment that is out of our control that helps us see the Reign into which God is bidding us to come and see.
O God of love and new life, roll your Reign out in front of us today so that we may be tripped up and see what you have been calling us into all of our lives. Amen.
The Reign of God as discovery may take us to a place we never wanted to go - maybe a place we never even considered going. Therefore, each step in this life may call on us to breathe and pause and listen and also wonder just a bit. I know I have a limited world view - I can only take in so much - I only let myself take in certain things. The Reign of God as discovery is the power that keeps showing me something more and making it look as though I need to walk a bit closer - listen a bit more to that which is being said - spend a bit more time leaning toward rather than running away. I often find that I tend to lean away quite quickly and regularly. It takes me time to lean toward that which is new. The Reign of God as discovery is that power that enables me to lean toward wonder and mystery and the unknown so that I am not always running away to that which is simply nothing more than me and my own world.
O God of love and new life, take us into a new place today - move us beyond ourselves - make us open to adventure. Amen.
The Reign of God as discovery places in front of us the notion that whatever is about to happen may not be something we have experienced prior to the upcoming moment. This may simply be an act of forgiveness. We are given the opportunity to enter into a relationship in a way that bitterness or hatred or fear or jealousy would have never allowed us to go. The Reign of God as discovery nudges us to find what else is present in the lives of our enemy or those folks we tend to dismiss. We will never know until we venture into God's Reign that invites all to come and be transformed. Who knows what we will discover if all of the sudden, the people we would not greet now become the folks we include in our circle of options - even call friend. We may come to admit that we discovered a new friend - a companion - an ally.
O God of love and new life, we are never able to know all that we will become this day. Therefore, we look to be surprised and pulled into a place in which we may be handed a gift through the life of someone we previously rejected and ignored. Give us courage to walk through out own barriers and discover new life. Amen.
The Reign of God as discovery is also a part of the creativity of God's Reign. Each day we are being invited into a journey. We do not know how things will go along the way an yet we are invited to be open to the life into which we move. It may be that what we see - who we meet - how we stumble and fall - helps us discover a bit more of God's Reign that is always inviting us into life. The Reign of God as discovery will be adventure that will change us. Along the way we may find something new about our own lives that makes us approach the rest of the day differently. In a way, that kind of discovery is the way we are invited into the creativity of life that is around us. We become new. We become something more than we were just moments ago. Discovery is refreshing and also frightening.
O God of love and new life, as we find new ways to live and new ways to walk within your Reign prepare us also for an openness for what will come next. Amen.
The Reign of God as discovery shows us that what is - is not all that is. Just beyond now and here and what we know is an opening into more of the fullness of God's Reign. We are invited to discover more and more of the life of wonder that is available as we move more deeply into the vision of God's love. The Reign of God as discovery always moves us and draws us out of our chairs and our state of relaxation and comfort. Too often, when we are not involved in that adventure of finding and seeing new things we become stagnant and our lives become rigid and it is easy to distance ourselves from others. The Reign of God as discovery is always showing us another door or another bend in the road or a vision of something new in the midst of that which has become ordinary for us. At the same time, all this also involves the discovery of that which is very known to us - but known from only one view.
O God of love and new life, help us to be open to the way you Reign opens us for us to enter and explore and live. Amen.
The Reign of God as rising in the middle of all that we will enter today. We can count on that. This Reign is rising - always rising within our hearts and hopes. It may not yet be the shape of the day or visible in the plans we make, yet it will rise and we will gain a vision of something more than how the world would usually move along the way. The Reign of God as rising may simply be a part of a fleeting moment that causes us to consider another way to act - to bring peace - to be an expression of love even as there is no place where love can be seen. This also means that as the moments of our lives move by, this Reign of God just keeps rising up to be experienced. Sometimes, though, it is only as we have experience the death of what is that we are caught up by the sight of how God's Reign still rises and we are able to be there in the middle of it all.
O God of love and new life, take us up into the character of your Reign this day. Amen.
The Reign of God as rising takes place when we seem to have made the decisions about life and what it possible. The Reign of God as rising takes place without listening to our evaluations and the great knowledge that we think puts us in the place of God. The rising takes place to confound all our fine notions of what can happen and what should happen. The Reign of God as rising does that despite how things look. This Reign is revealed in the brave and wonder-filled and gracious statement made by the parents of the journalist that was kidnapped and then yesterday, beheaded by the group that has been called ISIS. In the middle of brutal and demonic acts a word of grace and peace and hope is lifted up. Brutality does not rule here - something else rises up and always will. The Reign of God as rising up may not appear to win the day, but the vision and the wonder and the peace will always show itself - endlessly rising.
O God of love and new life, take us up into the character of your Reign this day. Amen.
The Reign of God as rising is like the morning of the Resurrection. Nothing was expected. Everyone seemed to know how the day would go. Hearts were sinking along with great expectations. And then, not only does Jesus appear as the risen one, there is a message about how God's Reign will become an adventure in rising up into new life. That will be the story telling of the early church. Among them, God will cause a new kind of life to rise up and encounter the reigning power of the world with the life of God's Reign. The witness of the followers of Jesus become a part of that rising. When evil attempts to prevail and lies seem to win the hearts of those in the world, we rise up within a life of promise that calls into question even the power of death itself. The Reign of God as rising is a show of the power of love and forgiveness that will not stop coming up into all the days of our lives. Rise up, O Saints of God.
O God of love and new life, lead us into this day as part of the rising power of your love that will always bring new life to all the world. Amen.
The Reign of God as rising is a word of hope because right when we are not seeing any evidence to the in-breaking of God's Reign, there it is. Sometimes it is rising out of all the junk within our lives - the stuff we want to leave behind and forget. And yet, even there is the Reign of God rising up to reveal the life it brings. Quite often, out of that which is the refuse of our lives comes a view of how this Reign appears. We can be so much in pursuit of the things of the world around us that we simply miss how the power of God to bring new life is rising up all around us. It is very easy to notice and dwell on the absence of God's Reign. With that, we are also missing the opportunity to what is rising even when we can only feel and see absence.
O God of love and new life, help us to pause and look again at what we so often drive by or move through without noticing your presence. Amen.
The Reign of God as rising is always coming into view. There can be no place and no time in which the Reign of God is not making itself known among us. It is rising in the midst of us. It is rising between us. It is rising and bringing into view that which is not yet in sight. The Reign of God as rising never stays out of sight - it will show itself. Much like the rising of the sun or the moon, we can expect that it will be a part of our lives. Some days I want to simply stay in bed and not let the day enter into the bedroom. And yet, there it is and I cannot stop that movement. Such is this life that comes as the Reign of God erupts among us and seems to rise up even when it is unexpected. With this comes the notion that this Reign also comes in places most folks would not associate with the God's Reign. That is simply because we do not want to associate this Reign with what is ordinary - plain - and even broken. And yet, it is rising.
O God of love and new life, rise up among us and take hold of our vision. Amen.
The Reign of God as sinking down always has a face to it. It is never a faceless being or dream or vision. There is always a face that leads us to others. Too often we may find that we like to be with the ones who are like us or the ones who simply look like us or the ones who look at life just as we do. As we are so involved in adventures of this kind, we miss out on the expansiveness of God's Reign. For as we walk past others - as we do not sink down to be with others - as we live by labels that only serve to separate and create fear, we will keep losing the precious time we could be having within God's Reign. The Reign of God as sinking down is the opportunity to see more and more of the character of that Reign. When we are content to stay in our place or are anxious about moving toward others and meeting them in their space, we not only lose the opportunity to see the wideness of God's love for all, we also are greatly tempted to separate ourselves from those others. That is a great loss to everyone. The Reign of God as sinking down is the reminder that there can always be more who are invited to the table - people we may have to uncover. Also, we may even be the ones to whom some sink down to greet and share a bit of God's graciousness that we may be missing as we stay in our own shell of a life.
O God of love and new life, as we experience your love that knows no end and moves into all of life, remind us to take the leap and follow you as you sink down for the sake of all. Amen.
The Reign of God as sinking down has that movement to it so that no experience within the world will be one in which God is not present and available. It is present for those who need support and encouragement and also available to offer a way to live in the world even when it is in broken and trying to consume us. The Reign of God as sinking down becomes a place of refuge that is put in front of those who need such a place. Too often, when folks are sinking down or have reached the bottom of their lives they are alone. Yet even there when all seems lost, the Good News of the Reign of God is one that says I am here and We are here. The we by the way - are all the followers of this God who also make themselves available to sink down and be that living presence of God to all - no matter what has brought them down. The Reign of God as sinking down is a life-project for the followers of Jesus - a life-character might be a better way to say that. We are the way folks begin to have an understanding of the power of God to rescue and heal and save and protect and honor all people no matter what their status may be in there world. We are sinking down because we are always standing with the beloved of God - our sisters and brothers.
O God of love and new life, strengthen us to abide with all whose lives feel ass though they are being lost and left behind. Nurture in us the vision of your Reign of Hopefulness. Amen.
The Reign of God as sinking down appears with and alongside the lowest ones for within this Reign, they are not lower than others - they are beloved. So, God is there sinking down to all the levels of life that are often discarded by others. The Reign of God as sinking down makes sure that there will always be room for all God's beloved. A wonderful vision that may not even be seen by those who have always been sinking down beneath the power of the day. Therefore, the Reign of God as sinking down is at work going down and down and down to awaken hearts and give people new vision and a new day. There is never a reason for the power and glory of this Reign not sinking down to be with anyone. Leaving people behind or down and out is not a part of the ethic of this Reigning power. God keeps sinking down to find us - if not today then God keeps bringing God's Reign again tomorrow. Be hopeful - you are never forgotten.
O God of love and new life, thank you for always being available and present even when the world will no join us. Amen.