Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kingdom WHAT?!?

Rejoice for the Kingdom is here!

Kingdom WHAT?!?

         That was the theme for this fall's Inter-Varsity Nova Scotia Retreat. What is the Kingdom of God? Who is the King/Father and part do we play? The past weekend involved three sessions of Bible study in a manuscript-styled fashion where we took a look at the context, the contents and the connections, the three major C's that staff worker Shu Yin Wong was teaching us as we looked through the parable of the prodigal son as well as when Jesus went to the Samaritan town of Sychar. So what did I get out of all of this?

         First off, with the prodigal son, I was reminded of the character of the father, and how he was giving, patient and forgiving...a man who rejoiced in the return of his young, rebellious son who came home after making some bad choices (leaving his father like he was dead to him, sleeping with women, succumbing to the famine and barely getting food); that son had recognized something about his father, that he was a loving man and, though he was rich, was generous and gentle even to his servants. The father didn't care about what the son did with his property; he cared about him and having that relationship of love with each other. As with the elder son, he appeared to have not been rather appreciative of his father. Here, Jesus would be emphasizing that we should be appreciative and thankful of what He has done for us.

         Later, we took a stroll through a big event that happened in Samaria. We saw that Jesus had chosen to seize an opportunity and speak with a Samaritan woman who had felt ashamed and lonely (which would be why she had always drawn out her water at noontime). He offers up living water that which those who drink from it will no longer be thirsty and that they will become fountains of said water gushing up toward eternal life. Wouldn't you want that, to have living water that makes you quenched of your thirst rather than always going to a well? Wouldn't you want to be having that gushing up like a spring to eternal life?

         Jesus also talked about food and harvests to his disciples after the woman left and went into the town to tell of her experience. His food was to do the will of God the Father and complete his work. And he extends this work to the disciples. He tells them that the harvest is ripe for the picking. This metaphor about the harvest was to the Samaritans in Sychar, that the woman has sown the seed after her conversation with Jesus, and the disciples were to reap the harvest alongside him. We even took a look at what happened to the town as Jesus came into town. Imagine what that could look like in our communities; we as Christians have the Holy Spirit inside of us, and we play both as sowers and reapers, collecting the wages so that we could all celebrate in what God is doing in this crazy, mixed-up world we live in.

         This past weekend has been such a learning and growing experience for me as I joined into the larger extent of my community and gathered into discovering God's Word together. We discovered some amazing new things about the Kingdom. We even got the chance to enjoy being in fellowship with each other, both as people from different campuses and as brothers and sisters in Christ. I'm excited as to what God has next in store for these communities as we embark on the same mission. I pray that I take on this challenge that God will bring forth His Will, and that it will be done. Until then, let's step out and go to these communities and show some godly love.