Luke 17:20-21 “The
Therapists and self-help gurus are always reminding us that the source of our happiness has to do with what is happening inside of us and not what is happening outside. For Christians, this should not be news. Jesus indicated as much two thousand years ago in the passage above. He’s talking to the Pharisees here, who are all keyed up waiting for the final and glorious reign of God to come.
That’s not too different from those of us completely focused on the second coming of Christ. It’s going to be glorious, we just know it, as soon as God wipes out all those sinners and it’s just us righteous ones living the way God intended. Then everyone will see things just as we see it because, after all, we’re the righteous ones so we see it correctly. Then we will be happy because God will set everyone straight and we won’t have to deal with those other people causing us trouble anymore.
But Jesus has some unsettling words. I don’t think he means to deny a time when he
comes again in glory, but it seems that the joys of the
Christianity is about how we behave toward others, but it is equally about our own self-awareness. It is about recognizing our sinful tendencies as well as recognizing the light of the kingdom that shines in our core. Ultimately, it is about letting that inner light come to the surface so that our outward actions come from the motivation of a loving and true heart. When the kingdom within remains locked, the kingdom without doesn’t feel quite right. It feels like the religion of the Pharisees, focused on the letter of the law as a means to salvation rather than the spirit of the law taught in the Torah…to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
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