Saturday, 14 April 2012

the life of the kingdom of God keeps growing

Sounds like a cue for a song, but it's this thought, which has sustained and stayed with me, whilst away in Italy over the last two weeks. You go away on holiday, frantically getting things 'done' before you go, you arrive home with a metaphorical mountain of e-mail to read, even before you determine you didn't need to! The holiday was great - Venice and Florence predominantly, but I couldn't 'do' what I planned....
This isn't a reflection on galleries not visited, or sights not ticked off, but simply a cautionary tale about how slowing down sometimes just isn't enough, sometimes you need to stop. I've had my kindle for a while, but used it as an extra, not a substitute. So, this holiday, one real book, plus my kindle, including my Bible - even convincing Maggie, 'no need to take yours, save the weight, use the kindle. Great ideas, but when kindle pops his head out of the suitcase, his screen is broke. The audio book on my i-phone was the next one, therefore, on the list ..... but I'd forgotten my headphones. I could have paid six euros for 24 hours internet access, but a little voice said this was not a wise use of monies. Oh and there's no photo accompanying this - my card reader packed up also!
I'm not certain exactly when Jesus words 'the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how', came to my mind. However, they recurred again and again.
So, I'll pop down to my allotment to see what's been going on down there whilst I'm away. However, on another plane, I've learnt to become a little more content with God being in control and being the King of His Kingdom and not me. I'm not suggesting I think I've learnt this forever as, by tuesday lunchtime, I may well be operating as if God wont get through this week without my input, but that's better than first thing tuesday morning! My slow down and just read the six books was not the designed 'stop' I needed. That needed to be enforced, chosen it wasn't, nor would easily be!
Neither is this a call to passivity (Jesus' farmer was hardly inactive). I've also read, today, what George Carey is saying about Christians being driven underground by the courts. I happen to agree with him and thank God for those who are willing, because this will have a personal cost for him you can be sure, to stand up and be counted. We are already in post-Christendom, we may not be able to turn the clock back, but it's no reason to welcome anti-Christian-dom.

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