CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM
Sarah and Mark were fairly average people. They worked hard, went to church on Sunday, and had three lovely children. Nothing terrible had ever happened in their lives—-that is to say: nothing beyond daily frustrations. That was about to end.
Mark was summoned to the office of the manufacturing company where he had worked for some twelve years. He instinctively knew something was up because of the somber look on the bosses’ face. As the boss proceeded; his voice began to sound like it was being piped through a tunnel—-and distant. It almost seemed to be drowned out by the sound of Mark’s own thoughts and concluded with the boss’s comment: “I really hate that this is happening to you Mark”..
Mark rose from his chair. He was stunned. He could hardly move his feet to exit the room. His knees were weak and his hands were shaking. The drive home was horrible. His lack of focus almost caused a traffic accident. As he approached the door to his home he halted—–as if he never wanted to go inside and reveal that his greatest fear had come to pass——he was “JOBLESS”.
Sarah had beat him home. She usually got off work about thirty minutes before Mark. She was working on supper. She greeted him from a distance as she heard the door hit the jam. He did not respond as usual. Sarah came around the corner from the kitchen to see what was wrong. Mark was just sitting there in the foyer——stunned. Sarah blurted: “what happened, are you alright?”
Mark began to tell her of the events of the day and concluded with; ———“so now I am unemployed for the first time since I left college”.
Sarah was in shock as well, but in the back of her mind she was saying; “I can’t look like I am in a panic. Somehow I must say something encouraging to Mark”—-and so she did. The evening was filled with consolation and conversation about how Mark would begin a job-search on Monday morning, and utilize the internet in his effort—–and so he did.
The plan was to simply “tighten up” a bit and utilize their savings if necessities required. Month after month went by. The savings account disappeared. Mark was giving up by now, and tension was rising between him and Sarah. She was beginning to drop hints here and there that suggested that Mark was using his loss as an “excuse” to stay home. Mark was infuriated at such a notion——–good thing they had that extra bedroom.
Weeks turned into more months and the house settled into a sort of bland existence—-until—-Sarah came home to announce that her hours had been “cut back” at work. At first she was furious—-then panic began to set in. After a few days of silence; Mark and Sarah mustered enough strength to agree to strategize. They began a plan to liquidate any unnecessary belongings and to begin a “food closet in the home”. No more movie rentals for awhile——-perhaps conversation would replace the thrill of a good DVD. Time rolled on and the family became more threatened. This is where the story becomes bizarre. Here is where we come to a POINT!
Mark and Sarah gather the children to the dinning room table and set forth their strategy from point to point and concluded with this remark——-“I know you are not going to like this very much, BUT——-all your meals will be suspended until things improve around here. Bread and water will have to suffice for a while. If you get REALLY hungry, you can go door to door and beg the neighbors. Perhaps we could search the trash dumps on weekends————–! “
Out of the story now, and forward to the point. Who would ever believe a story like this? What parent would ever contrive such a thing? Perhaps a maniac—-but certainly no person in their right mind. Most parents would conclude; “I will sleep in my car—-I will beg for food before I allow my children to starve——-I will STEAL if I have to—-and so on.
TO THE WORLD
To the world, this is understandable. Most people would do just about anything to protect their children. If one is a Christian and constrained to Christian values the matter becomes quite different. Every act has moral parameters———–OH REALLY ?
The New Testament clearly tells us that we are “living stones —fitly joined together into a House for the Lord”. Can one say to another “I have no need of thee”? Is a hungry orphan in Africa of no concern to you? You who fill the Body of Christ ? Is this not YOUR CHILD who is digging in a public trash dump in Africa ? Can you conveniently dismiss this hungry and homeless little child because of distance, biological connection, and the stress of personal sacrifice? Would you sit face to face with your little child that God has given you and say; “I’m very sorry, but I can’t feed you because times are tough right now ?” Have you really thought about what it means to be part of the Kingdom of Christ? Have you really thought about your responsibilities? Are you not your brother’s keeper? Will you not feed your own child before you pay your utility bill, or your house payment ? YET—–your little siblings and children of Christ’s Kingdom are somehow exempt from your very AMERICAN MORAL PARAMETERS.
Somehow you have come to believe that the Kingdom of God has opaque moral parameters———nothing to which you would grit your teeth and proclaim; “IF I STARVE——-I WILL NOT FORSAKE MY LORD AND HIS LITTLE ONES” ! Literally billions of dollars will disappear on candy bars, coffee and soda this year———AMONG THE POOR OF AMERICA, “Oh, but you don’t understand—-charity begins at home” you say. See if that bucket holds water at the Last Trump !
The reason that the Kingdom of God is not REAL to us is because it is convenient to KEEP IT SO ! THAT IS A FACT !! If the Kingdom becomes REAL to us—–then personal responsibility becomes an obsession. Christ cannot become REAL to you, until you come to understand the reality of being a member of the universal Body of Christ. Christ’s little child [wherever in the world],——–is YOUR LITTLE CHILD!! Do you really believe that the Lord winks at your spiritual manipulations? Do you think he is so puny as to look past your selfishness and disrespect toward him? How long till you GET INTO LOCK-STEP with the Lord? How long will you march along, out of step, in God’s army? How long before God breaks your heart to the point of such shame that you must surrender to Heaven’s Hound ?
WHEN HEAVEN”S HOUND STOPS HUNTING
There is a certain place where Heaven’s Hound STOPS HUNTING! It is at that place—-where you have become so skilled at making excuses that even a hound will turn from your scent. God cannot truly bless us until we learn to CONSIDER THE POOR—–Psalm 41
41:1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.