Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When It Reigns...

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like that opportunity you’ve been dreaming of. You put everything else aside in order to chase after it.” (Matthew 13:45 RSV)

One of the awesome advantages of being with a minor league soccer team is how much of the country you get to see. Awesome cities like Richmond, VA, Dayton, OH, Harrisburg, PA, and Rochester, NY just to name a few. Oh wait…

We are currently on Long Island after having played in Harrisburg last night. On the bus ride up here one of my good friends had me listen to a song on his iPod. This wasn’t just any song. This was another good friend of mine singing – it happened to be his wife. She is a worship leader with Elevation Church in Charlotte. I don’t attend the church, but I do know they put out some pretty impressive music stuff. It’d probably be worth you checking out. Anyway, it was the first release of a song she sang for their upcoming live DVD. I had heard the song when it was originally recorded (Yeah, we’re big time. We got VIP tickets; at least Ryan SouNders did) and I was moved both by the song as well as hearing my friend’s amazing voice sing it.

Now, as with anything, some background is necessary. These friends of mine aren’t just any friends. They were the first people I met when I moved to Cleveland. We have sat around more meals than I can count. They have encouraged and supported me in ways they could never know.

I don’t know all of the details, but for my singing friend, it has been a tough road. She has been ‘chasing’ music for quite a while and you can forget buying a break; as far as she knew there wasn’t such a thing. She recorded her own stuff and took any opportunity to play live – including at a frozen yogurt shop – that she could.

Through an opportunity via a friend of a friend of a friend, she landed an internship at Elevation. She would get the coffee, print the papers, etc, etc. It was by no means glorious and yet just being in and amongst musicians of high caliber one could tell that she loved it. Time went by and she was given the opportunity to sing some on the weekends. More time, more responsibility. When it was time for the DVD taping, she was going to be a featured back up singer and have the chance to sing a few solos.

So you can imagine the awesome moment it was to see her singing in front of a packed house. When her turn for a solo came she hit each note incredibly as she sang,

God let your Kingdom reign (2x)
Let all the earth, proclaim
God on the earth, let your Kingdom reign,
God let your Kingdom reign (2x)

It had taken 4 different cities, countless struggles, and a current disposition that she still hasn’t quite made it. But there she was on stage, bright lights, absolutely belting out a solo.

See, to the Jews this was, by definition Heaven; where things are as God wants them to be. This would ultimately come to exist on earth as a militaristic King came back, overthrew all Jewish oppressors and reestablished Jerusalem. In the process of waiting the Jews were to be God’s ambassadors to the world. They were to display his kingdom, reign.

Kingdom reign is current

Kingdom reign is process.

Kingdom reign can be painful.

I think for myself it is easy to scream these lyrics at the top of my voice in a worship service, or poignantly discuss it over a cup of coffee. The problem is that too often I much prefer to talk of Kingdom reign than see it living and active in my own life because of the realities I just noted.

I would rather celebrate someone else finding the pearl than risk going after it myself.

And yet our Creator begs us to enter into his creation; to journey with him. To display for the world his Kingdom, reign.

Sometimes this results in bright lights and big smiles. And others it results in jail cells with bakers and wine pressers; with everywhere in between.

This kingdom reign speaks into and moves into every facet of our lives. It invites us to understand that we are in fact the clay and that our Potter wants what’s best for us. That whether or not we can sing it out, our heart’s deepest cry is in fact:

God let your Kingdom reign (2x)
Let all the earth, proclaim
God on the earth, let your Kingdom reign,
God let your Kingdom reign (2x).

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