Friday, April 16, 2004

I know that I am constantly badgering everyone to "stop and notice the Kingdom today" and that seems quite an abstract thing. I mean how do we actually do that? I suggest that its at one time a very mystical thing and another time a practical thing. But I believe that the Kingdom of God is all pervasive reality. Christianity is not a faith, a mental ascent to some historical information, its not a religious system to control or be controlled by. Rather, one enters into the reality of the Kingdom of God through the person of Jesus Christ, it is a relational story. Authentic Christianity is written into the code of universe, living in harmony with the teachings of Jesus is to live in harmony with the whole of God's Creation. I believe that code is best spelled out in the Sermon on the Mount. So to stop and notice the Kingdom around you is not mystical reflection, but a literal and physcial aligning of oneself with the Spirit of the Creator God. I believe this is what Paul meant by being "in Christ".

Yesterday's Finan Reading of Celtic Daily Prayer speaks this discipline well:
"Those creatures in whom I admire a reflection of His perfections, on whom there falls a little ray of the infinite sunshine, are outside me, far removed from me, distant and separate, whilst You, who are perfection, beauty, truth, infinite and essential love, You are in me and around me. You fill me altogether . . . there is no particle of my body that You do not fill, and around me You are nearer than the air in which I move. How am I blessed! What happiness to be united so completely to perfection itself; to live in it, to possess it living in myself! My God, You who are in me, in whom I am, let me know my happiness.
Give me a perpetual sense of Your presence, of Your presence all around me, and at the same time that loving fear one feels in the presence of Him one loves passionately, and which makes one, in the presence of one's Beloved, keep one's eyes on Him with great desire and firm purpose to do all that may please Him and be good, and gently fear to do or think anything that may displease or harm Him.
In You, by You, and for You. Amen."

Stop and notice the Kingdom around you today.


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