It’s about 45 minutes till worship here at Community Baptist Church in Winston. As a group met for prayer I was reminded of the sheer volume of pain that exists in the families and to whom God has given me the privilege of serving. Then I look at the words I have prepared and wonder…how do we truly allow God to use us to bring healing and restoration to those who are in such desperate need?
In a few minutes I will have the privilege of opening God’s Word to those gathered in the name of Jesus Christ in our public worship experience. More than anything I want to be found faithful in serving, in teaching, in loving. I read earlier this morning in Nicholas Wolsterstorff’s Reason Within The Bounds of Religion, (2nd Ed) that our following of Christ “ought to be actualized by taking up in decisively ultimate fashion God’s call to share in the task of being witness, agent, and evidence of his coming kingdom” (73). I realize I am coming to Wolstertorff late – never read him in college or seminary (either MDIV or DMIN). I am astounded by the clarity with which he writes…and the challenge of being a witness, agent, and evidence of the presence of the kingdom of God.
Then I survey the congregation I’ve been called to serve and the community I’ve been privileged to minister in for the past 20 years and wonder…where is the evidence of God’s kingdom? Where are the agents of His kingdom? Where are the witnesses of God’s wonders and mighty acts?
Too often, from my limited observation post, we witness to how God is at work in my life, dealing with my problems, solving my dilemma’s. If we are agents of a kingdom it seems to be more about our comfort, our preferences, our rights, and our privileges. If we are evidence of a kingdom it would seem that the kingdom is one that meets our criteria, one that offers us maximum comfort and convenience.
Well, I’ve got to prepare…and allow God to make His kingdom known, to seek to be an agent of His kingdom, and to live as an evidence of His kingdom and His priority.