Scripture: Luke 17:20-37
Key verses: (20-21) Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.’
Reflection: The first time I saw the Grand Canyon we entered the park from the south and drove toward the rim. I had seen photos before but I had no idea what to expect. We drove along the National Park Service road surrounded by evergreen trees. I kept looking ahead, straining for a glimpse when the trees would stop and the canyon would spread out before us. At some point one of our daughters called out from the backseat “Look!” and pointed out the side window. There between the branches of the evergreens was the canyon. We had been driving along parallel to the rim. The canyon had been beside us and I had missed it because it wasn’t what I expected. Every photo I had seen made it look like the canyon was in the middle of a desert.
Over and over again in the gospels, Jesus proclaimed “the kingdom of God is among you.” I believe the kingdom of God is near us because it is already here, present with us, right beside us through life’s entire journey. Sometimes we miss it because we aren’t looking for it in the midst of daily life. The kingdom is miraculous and awe-inspiring and vast and majestic, and sometimes it is hidden from our view because we aren’t looking in the right direction.
Those in the crowd around Jesus kept missing it. They were looking for a Messiah who would be a revolutionary leader or a king like King David. A Messiah who moved among the humble and who was crucified on a cross wasn’t what they had in mind. Jesus called for them to pay attention. Open your eyes and be faithful in daily living. If you are looking for it, the kingdom will take your breath away and bring tears to your eyes (and you don’t even have to get out of the car)!
Prayer: O Lord, I confess that I don’t look for your kingdom among the poor and the humble and I don’t recognize your kingdom in places of suffering or loss. Open my eyes to see your kingdom in my daily life and teach me to be faithful. In Christ’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].