The kingdom of God is among you.

Do you like to rearrange furniture?   Some people are very good at imagining a room in a different way, then moving things around to match their vision.   They may notice a gap and go shopping for an accent piece that will alter the feel of a whole room.   But sometimes they will determine that all a room needs is different lighting.   Whether it’s pendant lights, wall sconces, or the softer glow of lamps and candles, a new source of light can show everything that’s already present to its best advantage.

This can be true in our spiritual landscape as well.   Sometimes we try to add things or move them around when all that’s really needed is more of God’s light to help us to see what’s already there.   That’s why Jesus told these Pharisees to open their eyes and look.   The kingdom of God was already in their midst.   They just needed to see it!

When we let Jesus shine his light on our everyday lives, we may first notice the empty spaces.   We aren’t perfect.   We aren’t as cheerful or prayerful or generous or forgiving as God wants us to be.   These are good insights, and the Lord wants us to work with him to make the necessary improvements.

At the same time, however, God wants us to see ourselves in the light of his love.   He doesn’t just want to point out the empty spaces.   He wants to show us all the full spaces as well—all the areas where he is already at work, all the areas where he rejoices in our love and faithfulness.   He wants to shine a light on the signs that his kingdom is already present among us.

Realizations like these may come suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, or they may dawn on us gradually, like the sunrise.   But they will come if we ask for them. Jesus doesn’t just want to show us where to improve.   He wants to tell us how much he loves the work we have already done in his name.   He wants to tell us how proud of us he is.

So open your eyes today.   Look for the signs of God’s kingdom.   It’s all around you.   It’s within your heart!

word among us

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