Tucked in the first chapter of Acts this line challenges us today. The disciples were waiting according to Jesus direction in Jerusalem. Maybe getting a bit antsy as forty days had passed since Jesus death and resurrection. They are standing on a hillside looking over Jerusalem and ask themselves, “Is this the time the kingdom will come?”
Reading this caused me to wonder as well. And to push further, “What am I doing to further the Kingdom of God?” On Memorial Day weekend, we remember soldiers who served and came home and those who served and did not return home. They served to bring justice in places of injustice. And many paid a great price – their lives or their emotional health. I give thanks for their efforts.
I also remembered, my father. One of millions of Americans not in uniform but supporting those overseas. He was a scientist training physicians during World War II. But more importantly working in a laboratory which discovered how to distill human plasma from blood donations. Plasma which could be transfused to patients on the battlefield without concern about blood type. A life saving gift to wounded in need of immediate medical support. Lives were saved because of this laboratory work. The Kingdom of God came closer as a result of scientists laboring over centrifuge and microscope.
A recent weekend group at Holmes Camp included a number of children and young adults born in the US, but whose parents came from other lands for greater opportunity. I was struck as the retreat leader reminded the staff that they might be in the company of some anxious children. Not anxious about being away from home, but anxious that their parents might not be home at the end of the event. Not home because of arrest for immigration irregularities. These group leaders were sharing faith, building a welcoming community and contributing to the Kingdom of God. How are we working in our communities to build the Kingdom of God for these children?
There are other arenas where effort is needed to bring God’s Kingdom. Environment, equal rights, access to education, homelessness and poverty, ………
What has been your contribution to the coming Kingdom of God this week? This weekend?
Have you shared your story with family and friends to encourage them?
What will be your contribution to the coming Kingdom of God in the next week? The next month?
Peter Surgenor is the Executive Director of Holmes Presbyterian Center and currently Moderator of Hudson River Presbytery.