Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.’” He replied, “I have kept all these since my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 18:19-25
What happens to this passage if you think of the Kingdom of God as a state of being that is both now and not yet, as opposed to simply a future paradise or heaven?
It becomes not so much a threat, as a reality check.
When it comes right down to it, you could say I'm rich. Certainly compared to a huge and staggering number of people on the planet.
And the things that often keep me from God and from seeing God's kingdom right in front of me are those very things that make me rich.
"Both now and not yet" is an important phrase for Christians to remember. We live in God's time and God's kingdom comes in that time. Time that folds into the chronological time we see before us as well as time that folds into that which we cannot yet see or understand.
I am kept from the Kingdom of God now when I hold on tightly to all those treasures that I put before God. I miss, then, what God is doing now.
Being part of what God is doing now is the blessing itself. Begin swept up into God's great plan. God's dream for the world. God's kinship with creation.
Have you ever been swept away by something?
That's what the Kingdom of God is trying to do to us. Sweep us away.
Both now...and not yet!
Help me to see your Kingdom, Lord, by removing the obstacles that I've put in the way! Amen