Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Expressions that come full circle

We will often talk about a person who is in a bad emotional state as being in "a bad space" or "bad place." This expression helps us to properly understand what appears in some translations to be not only one of the most difficult but harshest verses in the Gospel, Luke 9:62:

But Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

The word fit always bothered me. It seemed harsh to say that God would consider someone unfit. But if you look under the translation you find that the word is used figuratively to mean suitable or fit, but literally means well-placed, or well-positioned.

Then it makes sense. The Kingdom of God is not something we build. It is a gift. A gift is meant to be received. But we have to be ready to receive it.

We pray "thy Kingdom come" and indeed believe that it is coming. But if something is coming toward us and we are looking backward how can we see it, how can we receive it?

The well-placed Christian, really the only position for a Christian is facing forward, facing the future, looking in hope. For centuries Christians faced east to pray. We faced the rising sun. Even in the darkest night we trusted that just as the sun would rise in the morning, the Kingdom of God will come. It is already here, just not in its fullness. As I write this the first streaks of light are appearing in the morning sky. The sun is rising.

Let us walk through this day without looking forward, trusting that where ever the road leads us today is where God wants us to be. And let us keep our eyes open constantly looking for the signs of the Kingdom of God.