I didn’t know what you meant by “kingdom” the words felt foreign & meaningless in my mouth. Perhaps I pictured the caste of some fairy tale aspiration—foreign to my modern mind. Perhaps I pictured something archaic something that cost more than it was worth. Perhaps I pictured a moat & drawbridge full of beasts snapping at the heels of those who don’t belong. Perhaps I envisioned those streets of gold the palace with your robe, the temple full of smoke— But nothing else. No true life, no blade of grass, no creatures (except those terrifying ones) setting themselves to sing your praises for all eternity. But then I saw it. A picture of a long table on a mountain top. Cushions littering the ground, linens & lovely place settings, a breeze blowing the soft grasses. I could almost smell the aroma of a feast being prepared— & I knew I had gotten it wrong. The Kingdom is a table— Where those who were enemies become friends with each other & the God who made friends with us all. Where the hungry eat without price— wine & milk honey & marrow in abundance. Where we dwell in your presence & soak it in— like the lush grasses beneath my feet in summertime. We are not forced to praise, with harps of gold on nimbus clouds— rather, praise flows from our lips like wine as we see you as you are. Today, I think about the last supper & how you washed the filthy feet of an enemy who betrayed you & dined with friends who did the same. Can I help but marvel at the God who still prepares wretched sinners a table in his presence? A table that will satisfy all the lack & longing we have felt for all these painful earthly years— Where all at once, we will be full of joy & satisfied.
Photo c/o Stella de Smit on Unsplash