Sat. April 13

Saturday April 13, 2019

Today’s Focus                                                                                 

Today’s Scripture Reading                                                 Luke 17:20-37                                          

20 One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”

Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. 21 You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. 23 People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out and follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes. 25 But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.

26 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.

28 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— 29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. 34 That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.”

37 “Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked.

Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”

 Daily Reflection                                                                                 R. Allan Culpepper

Jesus’ teachings claim that the kingdom of God is already present among us but yet to be fulfilled.  Neither aspect can be minimized if we are to be true to His teachings, but how can the two emphases be held in balance?  Without the promise that the sovereignty of God will someday be established over all the earth, we would not have the hope that faith requires.  Who could trust in the reconciling power of love and self-sacrifice without the promise of the Kingdom of God?

On the other hand, if the hope of the kingdom were entirely future, what difference would it make to us now?  The coming of the kingdom in the life of Jesus means that the power of the kingdom is already at work among us.  We have seen in the ministry of Jesus the beginning of a new community, one that redeems and reconciles.  Sin is forgiven and defeated.  The broken are made whole.  Oppression of the deprived is forbidden, and the powers of this age are challenged by the power at work in Jesus.

The presence of the kingdom, therefore, means that we can already begin to experience the community of the new age in the fellowship of those who are committed to God’s reign on earth.  The hope of the coming kingdom gives us courage to lead changed lives in the present, yet it will not let us become so heaven bound that we are of no earthly use.

Some questions for reflection

  • Functionally, how are we able to “see, feel, experience” God’s kingdom in the here and now?
  • Jesus is “deflective” of when the end of time will come. How has this been helpful to the church? And how has this been hurtful to the church’s mission?

Today’s discipleship challenge

Think of a way in which you can bring God’s kingdom into the present moment and “Do it!”

Today’s prayer

Come! live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord!
We are called to be light for the kingdom,
to live in the freedom of the city of God!

Refrain: We are called to act with justice.
We are called to love tenderly.
We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.

2. Come! Open your heart!
Show your mercy to all those in fear!
We are called to be hope for the hopeless,
so all hatred and blindness will be no more!

3. Sing! Sing a new song!
Sing of that great day when all will be one!
God will reign and we’ll walk with each other as sisters
and brothers united in love!

6 thoughts on “Sat. April 13

  1. Lisa

    When will the kingdom of God come? I personally believe it’s here and always has been. I believe that God is here inside of us. He’s never left us, although I will admit to times when I thought He did. I also believe (And I see) that the forces of evil are here. But I believe that our Mighty God overcomes those forces of evil.

    I see God everyday. I see His spirit in people. In the rain, the snow, the windstorms, in the gentle breeze. I actually see God in EVERYTHING.

    As far as Jesus being “deflective” as to when the end will come….I somehow don’t think it will be the end, but just the beginning. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

    Keith, it hasn’t been the typing that takes so much of my time, it has been the thought process……

    1. Pastor Jerry

      Hi Lisa!
      That’s a beautiful sentiment, and one that I whole heartedly agree with! I believe that Jesus “deflects” simply because there are simply some things that our human minds can’t bear or possibly understand. To keep faith and to have trust that through God, with God, in God our future is secure and God’s love will endure to the end of all time is my personal goal!

  2. Keith Ricks

    Sigh, the “Kingdom of God” thing. I knew this was coming.

    Just like the Sycamore tree “Incident”, unless I already missed that one… where the fellow climbed up the Sycamore tree… a tree I recall being described with Not beautiful or Holy words even though It most Certainly deserves Grand and Majestic Glorious words after all the Bible didn’t just say “tree” now did it…, but back to the topic…

    The “Kingdom of God” thing. I get It until I have to go past It then It unravels. It is like being given the Ultimate Chocolate bar Supreme except one second after You taste It, It explodes. Oh so much pain and suffering in the world, … lets spend some blood sweat and tears and try to make it better… almost …. making some progress… pant… pant… sweat… pant… a little more hard work… think we’re getting somewhere…. Hey! We did It!
    K-BOOM! END OF THE WORLD! Gee- Thanks A lot God!…. Does that sound like:
    GOD: “So, Jesus, Did You tell everybody I was going to Blow them all up if they started getting Really boring down there?”
    Jesus: “Even better, I said a whole bunch of stuff but didn’t tell them anything and picked out one side and told them they were ‘The Ones’ “

    Okay, before You go calling the Church Pole-ease on me, the above statement is just how that one “Kingdom of God” Scripture thing confuses and scrambles My head and then Ends up making me Feel and Think… it really makes me upset and even though that is what comes out in my “Upset-ness” I neither “Believe” it nor truly “Think” that is the Message or Read In. I do Feel it is important to state it Out loud because if some one who does not believe that statement is lead to feel that way, You can imagine How and Why non-believers can be Pushed even to Violence with such confusing Scripture with out Clear, Simple and Concise Reads or Interpretations – Which, I have No Problem Saying, Mr. R. Allan Culpepper is not giving the Clear Simple Common People – Hey, How about for High Schoolers or Even lower language skilled? WAIT!… Sorry, My Opuntia started slipping off, as I was saying, Mr. Culpepper, Your Bible Reads have Helped me utilize My multifarious reference books and online resources as well as spend large amounts of time forgetting what I was researching in the first place… Yes, I am wrongfully blaming You for that… why not, I’m in a mood… but thank You anyway because I have truly learned much and do so enjoy this blog and these Wonderful People… But seriously… dumb it down to the common folk and maybe the Bible wouldn’t be Such an Issue. Keith

    1. Pastor Jerry

      LoL…. I so enjoy your writings! Especially when you use the voice inside your head to have internal dialogue that becomes public. Remember my friend, Mr. Culpepper was writing essentially to pastors and theologians when he wrote this section of the commentary, I provided it on this space so that for those who desire they could “dig a little deeper.”
      I believe that with the whole end of time thing…. it’s going to happen unexpectedely and we are simply called to live out our days as if today could be the last. When the time actually comes, my hope and prayer is that God will be revealed to us so that we will not have any fear, but will only feel the comfort and peace of God’s love.

  3. Melanie

    The kingdom of God is among us. Every day, everywhere. It’s whether we choose to see it or feel it or LIVE it. Whenever I see an act of selflessness, courage, of assistance or human kindness and love, I see the kingdom of God at work in our lives. As to going about our business and “business as usual,” and one will be taken, one won’t….or Jesus’ deflection of the “end times”, well…. I’ve always believed the messiah will come again when each of us dies and sees God face to face. Some will acknowledge Him, some won’t. I believe judgment will be more like our living out the pain we’ve caused others – feeling it for ourselves as it were. I don’t see this big rapture thing but I could be so very wrong. I mean we just don’t know. But we’ll all find out someday. In the meantime, do good and trust God.

    1. Pastor Jerry

      You rock Mel!
      I’ve always envisioned judgement like that scene in the little mermaid when King Triton shrivels up in the presence of Ursula…. but our “shriveling” comes when we replay the events of our own lives that have created pain in the lives of others. I really believe that the real “shocker” in God’s presence will be that we will all come to realize that we were always meant to live our lives as interdependent people! In God’s presence I believe we will see that clearly!


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