Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Kingdom of God is Like ... The Church!

Jesus told many stories describing the Kingdom of God: as a sower sowing seed, as hidden treasure, as a fishing net, as workers in a vineyard, as a wedding reception, and others. Jesus instructed His disciples to pray: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Dr. Duane Litfin, President of Wheaton College, wrote in a recent alumni magazine: "The Kingdom of God is multinational, multiethnic, multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural, a mosaic whose diversity pleases God." I believe that is true as far as it goes, but I also believe Dr. Litfin left out a huge group that the institutional church largely ignores as well.

The Kingdom of God is also (as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12) like a body made up of many parts - some strong, some weak and all needing to function in concert with each other. Just as it is ludicrous and arrogant for an ear to tell an eye, "I don't need you!" or for any part of the body to say such to another part - it is preposterous for the church to say to some who are in God's Kingdom, in essence: "Go away, we don't need you!" The words may be couched more gently but the result is the same. The segment of our society who bear the label "disabled" are largely disenfranchised by the Church of Jesus Christ. They are too difficult, too much trouble, too costly to include.

Jesus went out of His way for the beggar, the blind, the lame and others like them! Jesus was all about restoration! The Kingdom of God is ALSO multi-able!

When Jesus was at a party one day, he told another story. It is the story of a great banquet party. Jesus explained who should be on the guest list: "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives or your rich neighbors; ... when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed." (Luke 14:12 - 14)

That's the call and commission of the Church of Jesus Christ with all its inclusion of many nations, many ethnic backgrounds, many languages, many cultures into this diverse mosaic - for all these to include yet one last group: the "multi-abled"! That's when the body - the Body of Christ, the Church - is truly complete! When ALL are included, then God's Kingdom has truly come and His will is done on earth as it is in heaven!

When the church on earth looks like what Jesus described and modeled as He walked this earth, then God's Kingdom will truly come on earth! THEN the mosaic is truly complete and truly pleases God! That's the kind of church mosaic A Restoration Church is all about! And there's a seat ready and waiting for YOU!

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