The kids are napping, it’s raining (again!) and so I’ve made a hot cozy drink, pulled on my long woolen socks and sitting here in the quiet. I’m entering that deeply pensive end-of-year state that I go into every year around this time. This whole month has been so busy, I haven’t sat down to write hardly at all and my soul feels a bit like the ground outside.. so full and saturated with water from all this endless rain, and needing a run-off.
I spent the morning packing away all the Christmas decorations, making all the spaces seem quiet and empty. All is tidy now, but I can’t bear to put away the tree + the last strand of twinkle lights. I hate this part of it, the part where it’s over and now all the green and red seems obtuse and I feel sad that it’s done for another year. I crave the clean and empty space again, ordinary life again, but the holidays really are magical and holy and happy and so chock full of celebration that ‘ordinary’ feels strange and empty at first. Will there be any more magic to be had in our ordinary moments, our Mondays in January, where we get back to real life and attend to our lists and waistlines?
I’m prayerfully holding open hands these next couple of days, as we say goodbye to and tie up the very last strings around the year of 2015. I’m asking the Lord to show me His work over the last year, to show me the state of my soul, to speak to me a word over the year 2016. Ultimately our days are short, these years are flying by now, and I’m always left wondering if I’m living my days in such a way that count for the kingdom of God. Reading in the Gospel of Luke this morning these words by Jesus:
“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is! or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
In Jesus’ day, when He walked the earth, the kingdom of God was literally in their midst because He was in their midst. Today, the kingdom of God is here because His Spirit is in the midst of us, His children. His deposit, His guarantee, His Spirit, His life + breath in us. Immanuel, God-with-us still with us and walking among us by His always-presence in us.
This has been my pondering over the last many months, the mystery of the kingdom of God. The mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). This has been the mystery I can’t seem to explain or to shake: that His kingdom has come (upon His arrival on this terrestrial sod) and that His kingdom is still here and active in our midst because His Spirit is in us and accomplishes His redemptive work through us, and that His kingdom is still yet to come fully, awaiting His final return. This could be the thing that gives meaning to all our moments, all our days. This could be the magic that we find in our Mondays in January, in our ordinary moments that feel empty and unholy and unnoticeable. This is the way of the kingdom, to come like mustard seeds and leaven, like a pearl of great price and treasure hidden in a field (Matt. 13). This is the way of the kingdom, treasures hidden in the small, the overlooked, the everyday.
Maybe this prayer to reign supreme over 2016: Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.