Seeking the Kingdom- a reflection for the New Year

By: Pastor Mike

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Matthew 6:31-33) 

I once heard a story from a young man who was part of my congregation in Lethbridge.  He shared how he had spent a month in a foreign country (I think it was Egypt), but it was a very different experience as he had no familiar connections with people and didn’t speak the language.  So he found himself alone in a new place and with very few ways to connect.  Being from a hard-working Reformed Christian family, he was conscious that he didn’t want to waste his time in this place with this experience.  But with little opportunity to accomplish anything significant or formal work to do, he found his time slipping by in a very free-flowing way. 

But he made one significant connection.  He built a friendship with a young boy.  This boy had a bike and wanted to learn to ride it, but his father didn’t have time.  So the young man taught him over the course of a couple weeks.  And that small act of service and kindness taught him a simple lesson.  The Kingdom of God is not always something big and fancy.  It often takes the form of small moments of kindness and connection between people.   

As we enter into 2022 as a congregation, I would like us to take to heart Jesus’ simple promise.  “Do not worry.  Seek first the kingdom, and God will provide the rest.”   

What will seeking that kingdom look like in our future?  Will it be something big and fancy, like a land development project designed to bring to life kingdom values of hospitality, community, and care?  There is that possibility in our future.  Or will it take the shape of small, simple interactions; moments of sharing and generosity with the gifts we have been given. Perhaps it will even take the form of gifts we receive from our neighbors.    

But in this coming year, we want to train our eyes for these sightings of the kingdom.  What will be the signs we look for? 

  • Laughter shared by friends. 
  • A wounded relationship moving toward forgiveness and healing. 
  • An act of generosity and kindness
  • Opportunities to share and grow in faith 
  • A burden shared in prayer 
  • The Holy Spirit providing strength, faith or courage. 
  • Pain and regret laid at the foot of the cross. 

Let’s seek the kingdom together!  Let’s tune our eyes and ears; our head, hands and heart to the work God is doing all around us.  And as we see Him at work, let’s join gladly in the work of building that kingdom here.