So this recent phenomenon has occurred in our household. I was talking to my wife the other day about a movie she had just watched and she said, “Hang on a second, let me get my notes.” Notes? She explained that she has been having trouble remembering things lately and so if she is impacted by something or wants to retain it, she chooses to take notes. I think she has been worried about it being some sort of indicator of that which is to come, but I’m pretty sure it is a symptom of going from two to four kids and not really getting any sort of adjustment period. Or what the laypeople would refer to as ‘mommy brain’. She has even begun taking notes during my sermons, so now I know it’s serious. But I don’t think she is the only one lately who has been having a memory problem…I think it’s become an epidemic, at least in the church.
You see, everyday I am hearing about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket and that there is no hope and we need to boycott this and avoid that and not associate with them or vote for whoever and I think it all stems from a memory problem. We have forgotten to whom our true allegiance is due. We may be a part of this world physically, but this geographical location should not determine our values or dictate our mode of operation. At one point Jesus was asked about when the Kingdom of God would usher in and “fix everything” and he had a rather creative answer. “Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” – Luke 17:20-21 Another way of saying it was that the kingdom of God is within you…in other words, it is already here.
When Jesus came, he didn’t just bring with Him the promise for the Kingdom to come. He brought with him the assurance and the example that the Kingdom is now. If we truly claim to be disciples of Christ we understand that reality as we see it, or as we allow others to dictate it for us, is not reality as it truly is. We are not forced to make decisions based on what the empire tells us. We are not forced to operate within the power structures that exist in society. Why? Because our Savior ushered in a new way of living. An example that embraces the leper, identifies with the unclean, lifts up the disenfranchised, turns the other cheek, loves our enemies, prays for our oppressors, and says in the face of evil, “Father forgive them”. And I think that we forget sometimes that we are called to live this out. Sometimes it’s easier to operate within the mode/structures of the systems and policies and parties around us. But I chalk it up as a memory problem. Let’s not forget who we are. People called to transcend the means and ways of this world and live out the Kingdom of God now. May you see that the Kingdom is within you and live out your true allegiance today.