Sometimes we Christians are hesitant to mention the great benefits that come to us with the kingdom of God. It’s as if we think that following Jesus should always be hard and painful and full of “learning lessons.”
Are we free to be joyful? Are we really? Do we think it’s all right to have a good time in God? Do we allow ourselves the time and space to celebrate and laugh?
And—this is a crucial question, so listen up—are we free to acknowledge when we, ourselves, are growing and changing and living in a way that pleases God? Can we admit to ourselves, “Wow, I handled that differently than I would have a year ago—thank you, Holy Spirit!”
Would Jesus have offered us a kingdom in which there was no joy, no forward movement, no personal growth, no moments or seasons of gratification? Was he looking for followers who would always be concentrating on what is wrong with the world?
We are in the season of Lent, and we are about to embark upon Holy Week, which will take us to the darkness and the death and the mourning.
But please, please—do not cover up the resurrection. Do not throw a wet blanket on the joy of the Holy Spirit when people are rebirthed and made new.
Please allow yourself to grin from ear to ear because we have been gift of life and love, of peace and wisdom.
A blessed Holy Week to you. Enjoy the wonders and graces of your life with God.
Explain on paper—to yourself or to a friend—why it’s worth it to you to belong to the kingdom of God.