Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Kingdom happens in "we's"

“On a cool Friday night in May, we came together over some pizza and ice cream. We reminisced and shared stories with each other. Because I had to leave the next day, we kept on sharing until after midnight. “
-Acts 20:7

One of the cooler parts of my job is that I get to travel to different parts of the country for our games. Ok, so maybe travel is a loose term because we do it in 15 passenger vans. Regardless, a couple of weekends ago our team was playing out in the Washington D.C. area. Because I wasn’t playing the following day as well as the fact that I had in my possession one of the van keys, I drove the thirty or so minutes southwest into the nation’s capitol to see some great friends I went to College with.

Located in the absolute heart of the city, these three bachelors (one of which I played soccer with in college; the other two were the best and biggest fans in the program: they drove from Chicago to PA for ONE game!) lived in a 3-room apartment with another guy about a 15-minute walk from the capitol building. As far as cool stimulus goes, this place had it.

Joining us was another college teammate who was on a ministry furlough from Africa. He was in the area doing some fundraising as well as some catching up. And finally was another college friend whose heart for others and for the poor is literally unmatched. She is chasing after the kingdom with reckless abandon with no regard for things that have been or could be road barriers.

It was pizza night, and as I entered the apartment there were literally 6 or so different kinds of pizza ranging from Hawaiian to Deep Dish. After the obligatory hugs and hellos we made our way out to their back porch. Now the porch was hardly that. It was actually the concrete top of their garage that extended off the back of their apartment. It had a picnic table and some lights strung around it. It was perfect.

We stood, sat, listened to music, laughed, cried, and shared what had been going on since we had last seen each other. At one point in the conversation I was listening to yet another joke at our alma mater’s expense when the thought of God’s kingdom came into my head. You see, I think things like this too, are part of this revolutionary Kingdom of God!

I don’t think we were EVER meant to do this alone…

Again, this RSV above may not deserve a second mention but there does seem to be something about gathering together. Paul writes often about gathering together and breaking bread. There’s something almost magical about that isn’t there? Something about being together that more times than not brings out the best in who we are; in who we have been created to be.

It doesn’t always take a large community. As a matter of fact the New Testament says that as long as two or three are there then you’re cooking. I am actually continually amazed at how good we have become at not staying in touch. In a world where high school students text six thousand times a month! (No lie; I know one who did) And cell phones are like post it notes, we have become ever more lonely and isolated from creations best offer; each other!

In a society that suggests you have to eat or be eaten, it seems the kingdom calls us back and against such a notion. In a world where all that matters is number one, and only one, the King himself is constantly found in community; in and amongst his people. This certainly doesn’t mean it will be an easy thing. It may take long phone calls, or early coffees, or something entirely different. But that is what I am discovering this paradoxical kingdom is all about; something that may in fact take all of us in order to give back more than we could ever dream.