Every now and then you are lucky enough to get a glimpse of His Kingdom on earth. I know, a few times a year I walk away from a space and feel that. I am sure if feels different for everyone, as I surely don’t have a monopoly on what His Kingdom on earth or in heaven might look like. For me, it feels like a glimpse of something so beautiful, that you think ‘wow’, if this is good, what must heaven feel like?
Last Sunday morning in our faith community gathering, there were no bells, no whistles, no slick presentations or productions. But as an intergenerational faith community gathering there was something that happened in the room because of the people who were in it and the way we gathered, that enriched my soul to its very core. I left feeling like I had just glimpsed “his Kingdom on earth.”
There were stories shared, struggles felt, there was food, fun, worship and prayer. The youngest led us in prayer, the youth shared visions and the old dreamed dreams.
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams". (Acts 2:17)
I wished I had recorded it, but the feeling of being there will stay with me for a long while. There is something very powerful when a space is created that is safe to simply be yourself. A placed where you feel loved and seen.
I loved seeing the youth leaders empowering the kids to pray for them. I loved seeing many bringing their gifts and serving the body of Christ. I loved seeing the ease with which people felt welcomed and the joy of the conversations being had. I loved to hear those who are not always so confident, taking the time to really consider what they wanted to share. I loved seeing a father, publicly commend and value her daughter. I loved the honesty with which he shared his struggles and joys. I loved listening to one of our eldest share with tears, her deep love for her heavenly father and implore us all to read His word as she led us in communion.
"You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the messianic meal” (Luke 6:20)
I never want to take for granted the richness of faith community and the strength it brings to my daily walk of faith. Sunday was how it should be : one cooks, one sings, one loves and cares for another, one sees one’s pain, one sits alongside, one listens, many share, many pray, many love … all sharing what we have.
“They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
In the midst of COVID-19 it has never been so rich. In a community where much pain and loss is happening, His Kingdom is so real.
“You are blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s Kingdom is there for the finding.” (Luke 6:19)
I walked up to Ruth (our sage) who shared, wanting to simply say thank you. I stepped into a conversation she was having with a young adult. I listened as she spoke to this young woman, telling her that whenever you speak, you are not looking to please anyone but God and the place to really know Him is in the word.
“There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests. Your task is to be true, not popular.” (Luke:26)
I watched this young lady absorb every word and my heart leapt as I watched His Kingdom come again.
I remembered in Luke 6 when people said of Jesus, “Every was trying to touch him … so much energy surging from Him.” I feel that with Ruth, that energy surging from her from the Father. Not only do I want to be like her when I grow up, but I never want to waste a moment when in the presence of such Godly, yet humble servants like Ruth.
Later that young adult shared with me how Ruth’s word confirmed a prophecy spoken over her last year and that she realised in the midst of COVID and family issues pressing in on her she had forgotten God’s words.
And this is only what I saw God doing last Sunday. I am sure He was doing much more.
Scripture was being lived out, as ‘Acts’ had been my reading that week and all our midweek clusters are studying Luke together. Watching His word, his people and his love converge and spread throughout the morning, brought His Kingdom on earth for just a moment.
I thank God for the Community I get to do life with and pray that we never take for granted how rich it is.
I know it is not what people want to hear or learn, when people ask me “what does an Intergenerational Community look like?” They are looking for programs to implement, systems to put into place, worship service outlines they can duplicate. So often we want to complicate it, but once true love and life together gains momentum, you get to sit back and watch it happen, like I did last Sunday, and simply thank God that you had eyes to see and ears to hear His Kingdom come.