Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you
and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,
for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Blessed are you when you stand up for truth
and hell itself decides to try and destroy you.
You're not the first and you won't be the last.
I think that too often Christians have their Earth-Heaven trajectory the wrong way around. The dawning of the kingdom of heaven is not about us going to heaven, it’s about heaven coming to us. As Jesus taught his disciples to pray, ‘your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven.’
Do you get it? Can you see it?
Most can’t, and won’t, and that’s the truth of it. But those of us who can, those of us who are close enough to the one at the centre to hear his voice and heed his words; we get it, we get the kingdom, and we must then live that kingdom into being. We must live as if it were true, until it is true.
I'm telling you now, nothing makes any sense unless you learn see it differently,
and then choose to live that alternative into being.
God of all life, and all beginnings, and all endings; we commit our lives into your eternal care. Help us to see the world as you see it, and help us to live that vision into reality. May we be granted the courage to take our stand for truth, and to do so even in the face of opposition. In a week where dozens are killed by gunfire in Las Vegas, and countless more by violence around the world, and countless more by the effects of climate change, we hold before you our broken suffering world, and we assert that this is not the way it should be. We offer ourselves as part of the solution, and commit ourselves to the path of peace, the path of love, the path of wholeness with others and with creation. May our lives reflect your in-breaking kingdom. Amen.