Train of Thought
The Week, December 10-16, 2012
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” Matthew 6.33
As Christians we have received an unshakable Kingdom from our heavenly Father (Heb. 12.28). And this means something, something altogether transformative and wonderful.
At least, it should.
We no longer live in the darkness of sin and unbelief (Col. 1.13). We have entered into the realm of Him Who came as a Babe in order that He might grow up, die, and rise again to become our King. His is a Kingdom of Light and Life, where righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit are the defining personal, social, and cultural norms. There we leave our old lives behind in order to seek the wisdom of God; we learn to live blamelessly before the Lord, according to His holy and righteous and good Law. We seek Him earnestly in prayer, according to His will, and we sing His praises in order to exalt His Name and encourage one another. We hunger for His Word, that we may grow in Him, and we cherish our times with Him in secret prayer, listening for His Spirit and offering our lives up daily as living sacrifices to Him. We regard others and their property with the same regard we desire for ourselves, so that justice and neighbor love prevail among us. As God enables us by His Word and Spirit, we study to do those good works which refract the glory of God and reflect the reality of the indwelling Christ. And we hear the call of God that we should take up the work of Jesus in reaching others with the Good News of this Kingdom.
That, at least, is the theory. None of us enters this Kingdom equipped to live like this. We must be shaped in the forge of preaching and disciple-making, at the hand of pastors and teachers who follow the apostles in seeking the Kingdom, making disciples, and building the church.
Do we see clear and compelling evidence of this Kingdom, of what we seek in response to Jesus’ clear and overarching command (Matt.6.33)? If not, and if what we see instead is the re-emergence of darkness where once Light seemed more to prevail, then we must not blame the darkness. Darkness is the natural state of the world. Light is the evidence of life and the Spirit of God. Light is supernatural, but when it is present, it drives back the darkness and causes the fruit of the Light to flourish (1 Jn. 2.8).
If the darkness is encroaching, it is because the Light has been hidden.
Let us seek the Kingdom – the glorious Kingdom of Light – by all the means at our disposal and for all the manifestations which it is reasonable for us to expect. Let men pray earnestly for the Kingdom to come. Let us take the Good News of the Kingdom to heart and declare it to every person.
No amount of political reform or action will bring back the Light. No improvement in our economy can achieve a renewing of the Light. Educational reform cannot accomplish it. The Light of the Kingdom comes only with the Light-bearers, as they take up their daily calling to seek the Kingdom of Light with greater focus and consistency.
“But seek first…” And always.
Between the shutter slats, I look out on
the Blue Ridge, lying off a way – serene,
sublime, and subtle as the unnoticed dawn.
The leaves, which otherwise would block this scene,
are gone, and now the trees seem braced to greet
the coming cold courageously. Above
the town the buzzards find the rising heat
and kettle on the thermals. Who can love
such splendid ugliness? The dark, gray sky
provides a fitting stage and background for
their effortless display and dance, there high
above the almost-winter valley floor.
Such everyday delights are tokens of
unfailing faithfulness and steadfast love.
T. M. Moore, Principal