Advent 2022: Kingdom Of God?
November 28, 2022 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Advent 2022, Deep Thoughts

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What Is The Kingdom Of God?

For those new to Creekwood, each Advent we invite a mixture of staff and laity of all ages to bless us with their devotional thoughts to a specific question. You’ll notice we are starting at “Day 2” because Day 1 was Sunday, and the message can be experienced in worship (in person and online). I hope these devotionals bless you each day, and help you envision the presence of Christ fully into your life.

The question this year:

“What do you think of when you hear the expression ‘Kingdom of God'”

King's crown with pine wreath around it

People all around me keep bringing up TCU’s last-second win over Baylor. Everywhere I go, whenever I have a TCU shirt on, the cashiers, waiters…anyone…all anyone wants to talk about is the magical season that the TCU football team is having.

And I’m really okay with that.

It’s been such a fun season because not one TCU alumni would have ever predicted anything close to this level of success, but I don’t think it’s just the success that has made it so meaningful. I think it gave us something to talk about. Even with strangers.

For example, I watched the game against Texas by myself. While it was enjoyable to watch us beat the evil empire, it didn’t compare to my experience watching the last-minute victory over Baylor. For Baylor, I had volunteered to hand out programs at my daughters’ play, and I had to be there at the most convenient time: about 5 minutes left in the game. Like any good, attentive parent I concealed my phone in the program basket at just the right angle where I could pay attention but not be “that guy” who can’t take his head away from a football game. So yes, I saw every second of that miraculous win, but what made it so cool was that at least 12 people who saw my TCU shirt made sure I saw it too. 12 people I’d never met came over to make sure I knew what was going on, because they figured it was important to me and cared for the stranger amongst them. When TCU did win the game, all 12 of those women and men made eye contact with me and gave me air high-fives and fist bumps from across the room. Pastor Keri Lynn was in the audience by that time and she returned my fist bump from row S. Nearly as soon as the game ended, I also had a flood of text messages, and here’s what really made me reflect about the whole experience:

The oldest person who sent me a message is 82.

The youngest is 13.

I got one message from Georgia, one from Kansas, and one from someone on vacation in California.

Most were from Creekwood, but some were family, friends, classmates, and more.

What made me so reflective was the diversity of those who wanted to share such a meaningful experience with me. Because it’s the people we share our moments with that make the moments so meaningful, not just the outcomes.

When I think about what it looks like when Jesus comes, Luke 14:16-24 is probably the first image on my mind. It’s a parable about a feast, and what can I say – I like food. But the parable doesn’t center on the abundance of food, that’s just what is offered. The parable centers on a host who has an abundance, a meaningful moment and is desperate to share it. The first people invited don’t accept the invitation, but instead of packing it all up for leftovers or eating it all himself, the host goes and invites anyone and everyone to come to share with him.

The Kingdom isn’t just abundant. It’s communal. It’s a gathering of all those who love God choosing to share the meaningful abundance with anyone and everyone who wishes to attend because we know that a victory isn’t nearly as sweet if we experience it alone.

Why else do you think Jesus told us in Matthew 28:16-24 to go share the Kingdom to the ends of the earth? Because the Kingdom always has more seats, more messages, and more to share – and it’s better because we share it together.


David Lessner

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Actors in costume around a manger for Christmas

several scenes with people wearing pajamas in church

Child with candle at night

Gradient Text Gold to Maroon on a Maroon background

Christmas Wreath with text for worship times