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January 2019 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

Always in the Palm of His Hands

January 1, 2019

What is the Kingdom of God? If someone were to ask you that question, what would you answer? A government? A future reality? A rule of law? A place? The Gospel of Mark is replete with this concept of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps the passage that captures it best is this:


Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32)


The working of God in this world is mysterious. We cannot deny that. As human creatures prone to wander, limited in knowledge, yet longing for something more, we continue to seek to understand God’s ways in the world. Just when we think we may have a glimmer of understanding, we are struck with another unanswerable question. Where is God in suffering? What is the Trinity? How exactly does the Holy Spirit work? Why isn’t he bringing justice to the marginalized and justice to those who harm?


What we see in the Gospel of Mark is this: God is pushing his kingdom forward. When we don’t see it, even when we aren’t looking, he is at work pushing good into spaces of evil, justice where none seems to appear, and warmed hearts where coldness once reigned.


The Kingdom of God is many things, but perhaps what we most need it to be is this: God holding the world in his hand and bringing beauty and wholeness where none seems to exist. Isaiah 40:12 is striking: “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?”


In this imagery, we see the utter bigness of God. He holds the earth and the heavens in his palms. These he covets—controlled, manageable, contained. His Kingdom is one that never falls out of his hands. And there we live. Everything we can’t see because we are so small is as nothing to him.


The Kingdom of God is here. And God is pressing it forward, molding it into something beautiful and marvelous. Do you believe it?