As I think about Advent and Christmas this year, I continue to think about just how upside down the Kingdom of God really is and how different and upside down I hope our celebrations can become.
From St. Peter’s Brewery:
“You know, I realize this week has been rough for various folks in our group,” Matt began. “But as I was reading this weekend and then talking with Julie about random malarkey, I began to think about just how different the Kingdom of God is — compared to the kingdom of man. It’s this upside down, twisted kingdom that I don’t know if we’ll ever really wrap our minds around.”
Jimmy looked up from his plate and listened as Matt continued.
“I hope that no matter what happens politically, no matter what happens in the world around us, it can be said that I serve the king of an upside down kingdom. A kingdom where the meek shall inherit the earth, where those who morn are comforted, where the last are first, where the oppressed shall be freed. Where rather than appearing in a palace to lead his kingdom with a sword, my king came and appeared in a lowly manager — surrounded by farm animals.”
Matt continued strumming his guitar as Julie opened a Bible and began reading aloud.
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are — no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat…”
As Julie finished her reading, Matt continued telling his story.
“So as I’m thinking about this upside down kingdom and reading the passage that Julie just read and it brought me hope to know that when we’re at the end of our rope, that’s when God can really go to work. And when we lose what’s really dear to us, that’s when we’ll be embraced by God. God loves us all — but I think he has a special place for those who suffer and mourn — in fact he says he will comfort them.”
Matt continued strumming his guitar as he sat looking at the various faces in the room. Jimmy tried to focus on his food again, hoping not to make eye contact with anyone else in the room.
“And so for those of you who have had your kingdom and your world collapse recently, I want to remind you that God offers a different kind of kingdom for us all,” Matt said. “And I want you each to know that not only does God suffer with you, but each of us suffer with you as well.”