Perhaps this title is a little too strong for this post. It sounds so bold and sophisticated, and I am not even certain if it is entirely correct. However, I like that phrase “in-breaking Kingdom” and I want to explore it for a minute. I’ve been using it a lot with my friends in our conversations about God. It has also been on my mind a lot over the past couple of weeks as I think about God’s Kingdom breaking into our world through the God-child Jesus. I believe the birth of Christ and God coming in the form of human flesh is God establishing his Kingdom on this earth. It is God’s world breaking into the midst of ours. So, what does that look like? Again, I’m treading into territory that I don’t fully know. I may take a few wrong steps here, but I want to walk it anyway.
Every Thursday morning I meet with a group of guys at 6:15 for breakfast, coffee, prayer, fellowship, and the Word. Sometimes something profound is said that sticks with me. Always, the friendships encourage me and stay with me throughout my day. Today, a simple act was done that I believe was profound and will be with me for a while.
My friend Karl attends this prayer breakfast every week. Karl is a really neat individual who’s story is one from running on the streets in Pittsburgh as a young man to now running a nonprofit organization in Midland TX for teenage boys who are in the juvenile system. He gives these kids an alternative to the court systems and offers them a second chance at life. Today, Karl asked us to pray for and spread the word that they need belts; just plain old belts to help the boys keep their pants up because they are getting in trouble for sagging. It only takes a few seconds after this request before my other friend Nathan pulls his belt off and throws it across the table to Karl. And then it only takes a few more seconds before every person in that room that came with a belt was going to leave without one.
Now, you may read that story and think, “What’s the big deal? That was just a nice gesture by a group of guys.” Maybe that’s all it was. However, I would like to propose that the simple act of those guys removing their belts and handing them off to a few teenage boys who needed them was a moment I would call the “in-breaking of God’s Kingdom”. It was a moment of God’s future entering our present. The whole nonprofit that Karl runs is God’s alternative future for a group of boys who only know a hopeless and broken present.
So, when I speak of God’s Kingdom breaking in through the Incarnation, I’m referring sometimes to very simple acts. I know that we often see the huge and glaring moments. Sometimes they are moments when organizations are formed that feed the hungry and help the poor, like the Salvation Army. Sometimes they are moments when a victim forgives a heinous sin committed against them. Sometimes they are the moments when a wife forgives a cheating husband. They are the moments when a family adopts a child who would otherwise never know the love of parents. And, sometimes they are simple moments when a group of guys take off their belts and give them to a group of teenage boys who need them.
Everyday God’s Kingdom has a chance to break into this world. The most exciting thing is, we get to be a part of that in-breaking Kingdom.