“…we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable…”
Years ago the Holy Spirit spoke to me as I drove down the Interstate, “Son… if your world became smaller when you came to me, then you didn’t get the Kingdom, you only got religion.” It was a liberating word for my skinny-hearted soul, and a foundational truth of the Kingdom.
I wasn’t even dry from my spiritual birth before religion began drawing boundaries around my world and walling things out: “Hollywood is dangerous.” “Don’t hang out with unbelievers!” “Secular music is a poison, and entertainment is a waste of time.” “Draw the curtains close on the world, and stay focused on the church.” Living for Jesus became more of an exercise in avoiding danger than a walk with my Father in the cool of the day.
It took years of empty avoidance and the clear voice of the Spirit to reintroduce me to the world as a gift from above, from the Father of lights… “The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men.” (Psalm 115:16) Beauty is His. And Truth. Laughter, joy, the great stories of literature and film, and the wonders of friendship with believers and unbelievers alike – all these things belong to the the Father and He shares them freely with His own. We are heirs of a vast and glorious Kingdom !
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:17) Did you catch that? “If we share in His suffering,” – in his agony over a lost and estranged world – then we share as well in the glory of His redeemed world. When we, with Jesus can point and declare, “This belongs to God! And this, and this as well!”. . . then the world will be righted and “the King will say… ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)
Only a few years ago most of us had never heard of, much less seen a “flash crowd”. These seemingly impromptu extravaganzas where singers, dancers, and musicians emerge from nowhere and thrill shoppers and travelers with their gifts have taken YouTube by storm. From the Hallelujah Chorus at Macy’s to Do-re-Mi in the Antwerp Train Station, it’s a wonderful new art form that infuses the ordinary with magic. And for those with holy vision, we must ask, “Why? What primal chord is being struck in our hearts by a flash crowd?”
As I watched a video recently the Spirit gave me a “flash-revelation”: We humans love these things because they’re a near perfect reflection of the Kingdom scripted into our hearts by the Creator. Here’s how:
- Flash crowds inject order into chaos and wonder into the mundane. One moment you’re jostling with Christmas shoppers and the next you’re enveloped by an Opera Company singing Handel. That’s the Kingdom! The Messiah walks onto the scene and all our randomness is swallowed-up into meaning: the blind see, the lame leap for joy, relationships are restored, the hungry are fed, mourners rejoice, and the oppressed are set free.
- Flash crowds begin small, (often with a single person), and pull others into a growing movement that changes everything: a giant choir, a full orchestra, a huge dance movement. How like the mustard-seed Kingdom which begins with the smallest of seeds, and overtakes the whole garden with living joy.
- Flash crowds validate People. Each dancer, each part of the orchestra has a distinct and vital part to play. It’s the same in the Kingdom, where each one has a part, and every part becomes more truly himself as he discovers and fills his place in the Whole.
- Flash crowds invite people in: If you know the song, then join us! Don’t know the words? Then hum along, tap your feet, or just revel in the camaraderie. The welcome is for everyone! Amateurs? Professionals? The simple? The seasoned? You have a place! You only need to lay down your own agenda and begin trusting and following the Conductor! Everyone together now: “Hal-le-lu-jah!”
PS: If you skip the ad, you can see what I mean right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbJcQYVtZMo)