Wednesday, June 07, 2017

"Be the Kingdom"

Jesus tells his contemporaries to stop looking for signs of God's Kingdom to come: "For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you" (Luke 17.21).   Today's meditation on this gospel, printed in Forward Day by Day, suggests that we "meet a simple need for someone today," to "Be the kingdom."

I thought instantly of my buddies Kitty and her mate Terry. Before she retired to Florida to be a full-time grandmother, she was my colleague at school for some fifteen years; together, they hosted me for countless get-togethers at their home, meals out, and concerts.  But Kitty also set an example of meeting a simple need for someone every day.   When she knew that my play rehearsals were going late, she provided me with ready-made meals to take home with me.  She provided treats for my dogs.  Sometimes, she just gave me a note of support.   All around me, others received similar gifts.  "Make someone's day every day" is her motto.  Or, as FDxD suggests, "Be the kingdom."

Forward Day by Day lately has added a daily feature, "Moving Forward," suggesting action to go with each day's meditation. Some are actions for others, some for our own edification. Here are a few from the current and preceding issues that strike me as good ideas:

  • Inspired by Psalm 108, "Write your own poem today and share" via social media.
  • Inspired by three one-word prayers that comprise Anne Lamott's latest book Help! Thanks! Wow!, "keep a list of your 'Help! Thanks! Wow' moments to use during evening prayer time.
  • Inspired by Mary's seeking support from her cousin Elizabeth, we're advised to send a note or give a call to the Elizabeths in our lives. (Kitty, are you reading this?)
  • Inspired by Psalm 78, we're told simply to plan a dinner party for our favorite people.
  • Inspired by the lines about fig trees, we're told, "Take a walk around your home today.  What needs to be pruned, cleaned up, or tidied to ensure a fruitful season ahead?"
  • Offer concentrated time to someone you love, "no agenda or strings attached."
  • Inspired by Deut. 7.6 ("God has chosen be ...His treasured possession"), "set apart a treasure -- a material item, a story, or simply your time -- to share with someone you love today."
  • Answer Jesus's question to his followers: "What are you looking for?"
  • Inspired by what happened at Cana when they ran out of wine, think, "Do you feel like you are running out? Out of time? Money? Patience? faith? How does this passage speak to these moments of running out?"
  • Inspired by John's saying, "He must increase, but I must decrease," contemplate if it's time "to take up less space in someone's life."
  • Inspired by Abram's packing up and leaving home, we get the suggestion to "plan a trip today [to] visit a neighbor or old friend."
  • As the cripple took up his mat to walk, "Think of one thing you can do today to take up your mat and walk, to begin to become unstuck."
  • After Psalm 92.1, "Write at least five thank you notes today, or write a longer one to God.  Share" on social media.
  • After Psalm 23, recall when you walked in the shadow of the valley of death.
  • Responding to the institution of the Eucharist in John 6, we're told, "make a list of those who have fed and nourished you with their flesh and blood."

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