#859 Preparation (19/07/23)
This time of year is often fraught with preparation. Getting ready to go somewhere, do something, make the most of summer. Some of us are buying school uniform ready for next year (the sales are already on, guys!), trying to complete tasks ahead of the inevitable rush that is September. Helen is busy preparing things to go with the youth to Newday. There is so much to be done, and so little time, and as a society we are tripping over ourselves to proclaim how busy we are. And we are.
Our community group met last night, and we were thinking about God’s Kingdom. And the more we talked about what it means to build the Kingdom here on earth, the more I was struck by how woefully unprepared we are. My default setting for getting stuff done is to create a spreadsheet, or at the very least a to-do list, but God’s preparation is rather different. We spoke about how prayer is critical to the success of building the Kingdom, but there’s also a physical element of being proactive and just doing. Getting stuck into things, and getting behind others in the church. It can be challenging – sometimes we disagree over what we should or shouldn’t do. We run events that we don’t always feel like participating in. But we have to trust that one of our family heard from God, drew a team together, and that the whole thing was prayerfully organised, with a view to building the Kingdom.
In Luke 4 we read:
42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Jesus sought out a quiet place, perhaps for prayer or reflection, but when the time came, he went and physically did something. He was called elsewhere, and he went. I believe we are often called towards things, but it can be hard to filter out all the background noise which tells us that we don’t have time, we have too many demands on us, we have other priorities. We do need wisdom to not promise something we cannot deliver, and it would be futile to do lots of things if they are going to be poorly organised, with no clear direction. But the preparation of God’s Kingdom on earth will involve effort, and sacrifice. But it’s going to be worth it.