I’ve heard many sermons that refer to the “kingdom of heaven breaking in”. I’ve experienced it myself when I hear the laughter of a youngster, or the bright light of a super full moon. We get glimpses of what eternity will be like today when we stay tuned and attentive to our surroundings.
But what will the kingdom of heaven be like? In Matthew 5:3 we hear, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In Matthew 4:17: “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” One commentator suggests that the kingdom of heaven will be ruled by those who have the heart of a child and the mind of a servant.
We are all on a journey as believers to our ultimate home, but we tend to think of it as a distant land that we can only occasionally visit while we wait for our final journey.
Br. Nicholas Bartoli of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) offers a different perspective. Instead of the kingdom of heaven being a distant place that breaks through our worldly chaos, what if the kingdom of heaven is already in each one of us? Christ has come to dwell in us, transforming us with His amazing power. Perhaps we’ve been looking in all the wrong places for that glimpse of God, when he is already here and lives within us.
Jesus has given us all his authority and power: “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8)
I believe that Br. Nicholas is correct and the kingdom of heaven is now, indwelling in each one of us with the authority and power to change the world.
This week I’m going to exhibit the Christ who already dwells within me, and look for opportunities to bring forward the kingdom of heaven that is already in others.