And so we wait,
We wait for the kingdom of God and we wait knowing that it is God’s good pleasure to give it to us. We wait like bridesmaids at a wedding, our lamps lit and well fortified with a firm faith that the groom will come and we do not need to be afraid.
We wait together in community, stitching together our life of faith one blessing at a time, one act of kindness, one act of redemption and forgiveness, one act of reconciliation at a time. We wait and we stitch together a purse unlike that seen on earth before. One which holds true treasures, and we place our time, our effort, our very best gifts in that purse knowing that placing our treasure there will change us, will draw our heart, our time and our attention right there, where it belongs. We do not place our gifts in that purse believing that it will somehow prove we are good people and we are on the right track.
All of our efforts to prove our own worth and righteousness are as feeble as a general without his army. He may stomp his feet and demand justice but alone he lacks efficacy, he cannot create the change he wishes for. Without God all of our efforts to create change, to be made whole and righteous are likewise feeble, but we do not need to be afraid. We rest wholly in the peace and love of God knowing we are cared for, supported, nurtured, and loved more deeply than we can begin to imagine and that this treasure is beyond measure.
So we wait, not anxiously or in trepidation, but with anticipation of the master’s return, knowing that hope and glory and celebration are imminent. We wait in this liminal space, this threshhold of the already, but not yet. For already we are saved and sanctified, made holy through the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ but yet we long for and cry out for the fulfillment of the kingdom of God. Already, but not yet. Already loved, named and claimed, but there is more coming and knowing this how can we not stay awake, stay woke, filled with the anticipation of the master’s homecoming, filled with the anticipation of the coming of the kingdom of God?
For we are kingdom people. We are the beloved of the king, called and chosen to be God’s people, encouraged and given a heart to be witnesses, to be ambassadors of the king. We are called to dwell in the heart of the Beloved, guided by Love’s holy wisdom and to make of our lives a purse to contain our greatest treasure, the love of God.
“May you abide in me as I abide in the father,” Jesus tells us. We are at once purse and treasure, for God abides in us and there is no greater treasure, no greater gift, and with astonishing humility we must acknowledge that, without justification, God treasures us, loves us, tucks us deep inside God’s very self, “abide in me.” For we long to dwell in the tent of the Lord, to tuck ourselves into some corner, out of the way, where we might watch the comings and goings of the Lord our God, knowing we are sheltered there forever. “Abide in me, as I abide in the father,” “abide in me and I shall abide in you.” We are at once the purse and the treasure.
Sell off the false treasure whenever it conflicts or distracts from the treasure that is the Lord your God. Do not be distracted by glamour, resting your attention on material things which are important today and passe tomorrow. Cleanse yourself of anything that distracts you from taking a simple moment each day to rest in God, to let God dwell in you, replenishing your heart and soul. Live in the world, but do not be of it; do not let it take your attention and your time and consume you. For you were never meant to live that way. You were never meant to be consumed by a desire for all that is false or trivial. You were meant for so much more.
You were meant to live with a heart bursting at the seams, heart strings pulled and tugged by deep loves, the loss of which will leave tender, vulnerable spots, ripe for the growth of new love, new life, and the impossible gestation of the Spirit, if we are brave enough. We may end up crying out with Jeremiah, that we have been seduced! That we cannot hold in this thing which is happening to us and we feel foolish and ridiculous, but if we try to hold it in it burns in our very bones and we just cannot keep it quiet, this thing which is happening to us. We were meant to live with the purse strings of our heart bursting at the seams, love spilling out, gospel goodness spilling out, like coins from a split purse, rolling into gutters and down dark alleys, and into the hands of strangers.
So sell off anything that would distract you. Empty your heart of worthless encumbrances. Clean out the spare room for that unknown guest which just might show up, prepare a space, and wait.
Wait with anticipation and excitement, trusting in the Lord your God. Open your hands and stretch them out, palms up, knowing that God longs to give you every good thing. Desire only the goodness that God desires for you and let go of all other promises. Life will not be better when you attain your ideal weight. It will not be better when you have that new car, big screen TV, or finally get every little thing in it’s just right place.
With Paul we might pray that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened, that we might perceive the hope to which God calls us and the riches of God’s inheritance which God longs to bequeath to us, the immeasurable greatness of his love. This love which will burn in your bones, an unendurable longing which we would never choose to part with, just as the whole of creation groans with longing and we will know this is good and right and just as it should be.
And we will wait, with our hearts on fire, burning with a holy passion that will not let us sleep nor rest, for our treasure fills us, changes us, and longs for expression. And we will know in our heart of hearts that God abides in us, just as we abide in God, and our purse strings are stretched beyond measure with the fullness of God’s glory,
One thing have I asked of Love
That I shall ever seek:
That I might dwell in the Heart of Love
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of my Beloved
and to know Love’s plan.
For I shall hide in Love’s heart
in the day of trouble,
As in a tent in the desert,
Away from the noise of my fears.
and I shall rise above
my struggles, my pain,
Shouting blessings of gratitude
in Love’s heart
And singing melodies of praise
To my Beloved.
Psalm 27 from Psalms for Praying
Dwell in the heart of love my friends. Let God become your purse into which you tuck all your treasure, which you crawl into when the world becomes just too much. Let God become your treasure and stockpile that treasure every chance you get, letting God draw your time, your attention, your devotion, for it is God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom, to fill your heart and your days with good things.
No king, no army, no desolation nor time of terror or loss, will ever separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, for our hearts are filled with this immeasurable treasure, that we abide in God, and God abides in us.