Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Kingdom of Heaven

This past week I had the amazing opportunity of going on the Middle School Mission Trip with Riverside Church of Christ. My heart has been completely filled with love, joy, and peace.

The mission trip was to Impact Church of Christ in Houston, TX. Being from Sugar Land, this was a very familiar area to me, and a ministry that I had poured my heart out in throughout middle school and high school. Impact is an inner city church. Our job there was to help lead a VBS for the at-risk children that attend the church and live in the surrounding inner city. Each of our middle school students was paired with a little buddy (one of the impact children) for the week. I think each one of our middle school students would agree that their little buddy had a greater impact on them than they did on their little buddy.

There is so many things that this trip taught me: so many different lessons learned. However, the whole time that I was there, I couldn't help but think to myself time and time again, "this is what the Kingdom of Heaven is like...."

This is what it looks like to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth right now. To love on those who by society's standards are unlovable. To pour into the lives of children who might not otherwise know God. To reach down into the lives of children and to love them, in spite of their misbehavior, in spite of what the world tells them they are, in spite of their current situation, to just stop and love them deeply. This is how we bring the Kingdom of Heaven down to Earth.

The Monday night we were at Impact, we also had the opportunity to go to a place called Liberty Island. Liberty Island is a place for people who have mental illnesses. By the world's standards, these people are seen as worthless and unaccepted. I was brought to tears and into closer communion with God than I have been in a while that night. You see, these people with mental illnesses began standing up and shouting and singing of God's great love and mercy. They began to proclaim the goodness of God. And we were there, right along with them, praising the same powerful God. It's a night that I will never forget. This is what the Kingdom of God is: uniting with people that the world sees as worthless and joining hand in hand to worship the Lord. I cannot think of a more beautiful image than this.

We have the ability to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth right now through loving those that are poor, helpless, needy, hurt, abandoned, broken, and crushed. All we have to do is love with our entire being.

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