Family and Kingdom
This is my mom and i in the summer of '71 or '72. The pics below are of Luke, Bree and Nate around the same ages. My sister is the image of my mom (she hates it when people say that :). Tomorrow the five of us in this western clan fly from Calgary to Ontario to see my family for some play time and then off to New Brunswick to see Dar's family for a week.
And our house is finally sold and empty. A new family moves in here on the 18th. We return from holidays on the 29th of August - and we have no idea where we will be living in Canmore. We're taking that big refreshing leap of faith into the unknown that is only known to God. Not that we havn't tried to force the unknown into our knowing. We have done everything humanly possible to find a place in Canmore. God certainly has his plans for us. So we watch and pray.
Canmore will be about prayer and worship and new music and spiritual leaders of the nations coming and going from the highest town (elevation) in Canada. It will all unfold in time. And our support will grow as God releases people to us. Moses had many holding up his hands. David had his Gaddites and then his Jonathan. Elijah learned that there were many hidden supporters of the kingdom all around him.
Within the strength the Spirit provides we are all people movers. Churches are to be furnaces of salt and light in their specific communities. And where the candle is smoldering and the reed is bruised - the body needs healing before it can ever fully become its full self in its place within the organic ebb and flow of a real kingdom filled with such living stones.
Remember Gideon... (let's see if I can get this right from memory) he's from the tribe of Manassah... hmmm that's Joseph's son from an Egyptian wife - a half breed Jew - foreparents of the Samaritan's. And who was Gideon up against? Midianites.... hmmm, Ishmaelites... the other son of Abraham, from Hagar the Egyptian. So Gideon is Joseph half breed Egyptian setting out against Abraham's half breed Egyptians with the help of His God... the God of the Jews!? And who was it that mobilized the Midianites against Israel in the first place? Oh, right, God! It's all family. Jews and Gentiles becoming one people of God (Romans).
Then there's Moses who spent 40 years in Midian where he marries a Midianite girl... very interesting stuff.... considering all that is going on in Lebanon these days. All that geography and all those peoples go way back don't they... who is in and who is out? Who has who's blood in their veins?
Reading Jacques EIlul (French sociologist) taught me that the kingdom has a center in Jesus Christ but it has no circumference. We can reject none and yet give assurance to none. Whoever has found a whispered way in or helped someone else find the way ... it's all about His good grace (Gordon Fee).
No, I'm not a universalist. I am just very open minded and willing to listen and learn. Christians should be the most open- minded listeners on the planet. There is so much I am willing not to know. And I think what I don't know qualifies me somehow. It makes me lean on faith and grace a whole lot more. It's like the difference between singing to the setting sun and anticipating the rising sun. Those two songs would sound distinctly different even though both are about the Sun. It's the same with faith that knows and faith that does not know. Faith that does not know sings so much more beautifully. Yes, one may know that the Sun is coming over the crest of that hill any moment. But it does not take away from the wonder and surprise of that glorious light. It's time to face East and sing a welcome to the morning sun.
Life circles around us. Gravity and intertia. Planet is the Greek word for "wanderer". When it comes to family and kingdom I want to be intentional about slowing down and allowing the gravity of God's directive call to draw me down and into the deepest places where healing and restoration are needed. Sometimes it's painful to walk through historical things together. Much of it is humbling and refining and there's nothing but pure gold on the other side.
Only the living words of Jesus Christ can undo the bloody turmoil of coiling Leviathan.
Obedience is thicker than blood.
The person who obeys my heavenly Father's will
is my brother and sister and mother.
Matthew 12:50 (MSG)
Modern Christianity is incapable of tackling
the current false and seductive spiritual forces.
It prefers to assail those of yesterday, which are already dead.
In the second place, Christianity is losing its impact
through endless self-criticism,
A criticism which is just as false as its attacks.
Jacques Ellul – The New Demons
If one is to lift a whole generation, verily one must know it.
Hence it is that these proclaimers of Christianity
who start straight away with orthodoxy
have not much influence, and that only upon a few.
For Christendom is very far behind.
One must begin with paganism…
If a man begins at once with Christianity,
they say, “That isn’t anything for us,”
so at once they are on the defensive.
But, my whole work as an author is one great thought,
and that is: to wound from behind.
Søren Kierkegaard – Christian Discourses