Advent 2022: The Kingdom Of God Is Like…
December 5, 2022 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

Posted in Advent 2022, Deep Thoughts

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What’s The Kingdom Like?

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

Life is busy! Like so many of you, my brain is constantly filled with the clutter of life. To-do list, emails, text, worry, anxiety, stress, am I doing enough, did I say the wrong thing, go here, do that, it’s always GO, GO, GO. And as a mom of three young children, I have the added stress of parenting preschool-aged kids and all the challenges that come with that. I live my daily life by the calendar. I wake up every morning and immediately think of all the things I have to accomplish that day. The truth is, we are all in the same position in some form or fashion….LIFE IS BUSY!

I started running after college as a way to get back in shape. I haven’t always enjoyed running, but over the years it went from something I had to do, to something I get to do.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to sneak out of the house for an early morning run. As I walked to Celebration Park, I was on high alert. It was still dark outside, and although I live in a safe neighborhood, the constant exposure to bad in the world makes me feel as if I am never able to fully let my guard down.

Once I got to the park, I did a quick stretch, started my favorite running playlist, and hit “go” on my running app. As I started my run my mind was filled with the clutter of life. I scrolled through all the things I needed to accomplish that day, and I thought about how I could be most efficient and maximize each precious minute. My chest was heavy, my shoulders were tense. With every stride my knees hurt.

At that moment my run was just another thing I could check off my daily to-do list. But as I turned the corner at the top of Celebration Park and began to run down the hill towards the pond, I noticed the beautiful sunrise. The sun was peeking up behind the large puffy clouds, showing its bright orange face. The rays it created through the clouds were picture-perfect, casting golden hues of light everywhere. As I focused on the sunrise, the weight of the world I was carrying began to disappear and slowly cleared my mind. I wasn’t worried about how I was going to get everything on my to do list done. I wasn’t stressed about going to the grocery store later that day. I felt free, happy, and joyful. I felt as if I could conquer the world. I felt totally euphoric about life and everything it had to offer.

To me, that is what the kingdom of God will feel like. There will be no pain, no stress, no suffering, worry or fear. I believe we’ll be in a constant state of feeling happy, joyful, calm, peaceful and euphoric.

I like to think I’ll be greeted by all my loved ones who have gone before me. I’ll feel their love. I will finally meet Jesus and be surrounded by his presence.

When I set out on my run that morning, I didn’t expect to see a little glimpse of Heaven. I didn’t expect to feel such strong emotions as I watched the sunrise, but I think that was God’s way of reminding me that there is so much more to life than a to-do list. I think He is reminding me to slow down and stay focused on Him and the promises He has made us.

Taylor Carver

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monchrome Blue Christmas scene with blue tree and blue ornaments

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