This week’s readings from chapter 6 may be upsetting for some people, because Greg Pierce imagines that God’s Kingdom includes people we might consider outside the Christian family. What brings “suspect” people into the kingdom of God? Their actions.
The fact is, many people who do not call themselves Christians—or who claim no religious affiliation at all—have committed themselves to “kingdom” values such as justice, care for the poor, and peacemaking. Jesus would welcome them and their involvement.
Jesus understood a profound principle of human nature: when we engage in action, we are changed inwardly. Maybe we don’t change in big ways, right away. But when human beings cause their activities to rhyme with God’s intentions, there is opportunity for encounter with God. Often, action leads to the conversion of the one who acts.
For those of us who have already professed faith in Christ, the temptation is to confuse our verbal profession or our feelings about God with the actions that God desires from us. We can become so involved with our inner world—the thoughts, opinions, plans, and good intentions—that we’re out of energy or motivation before we’ve actually done anything.
May our prayer during this Lent move us into action. This might mean that our prayers are shorter and more direct:
Remind me, Holy Spirit, to put my name on the list for delivering food this month.
Help me, Jesus, to get over my fearfulness and join those visiting the county jail next week.
Be with me, Heavenly Father, as I pick up the phone and try to have a loving conversation with this person I’ve been avoiding or who needs my listening ear.
A Spiritual Practice for the Week:
Each day, do something concrete for the kingdom of God. It can be an act small or large, but do it with love and prayer.
We encourage you to share the action you will take this week to give other participants ideas and encouragement.