Citizens of God’s Kingdom

Read: Psalm 24:1; Romans 5:1-5; Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 2:14-22

I am writing this week from Phoenix, Arizona where Mennonite Church USA is holding their convention. The theme this year is “Citizens of God’s Kingdom, healed in hope” and the passages listed above are the scriptures that we are focusing on during the convention.

It has been a wonderful reminder that despite borders, countries, and continents, we are all a part of God’s kingdom together as Christians and followers of Jesus Christ. No passport is required, no proof of identity, or customs are needed to be a part of this kingdom.

The hope and healing of Jesus Christ is what binds us together and connects us as his children. It is interesting that one of the theme passages for this week is Ephesians 2:14-22, a book in the New Testament that our church recently studied in the month of June. That scripture says….

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”

Sometimes those barriers or dividing walls seem hard to overcome for us in the flesh. We allow hostility and regulations to stand between us instead of destroying those in the name and cross of Jesus Christ. This week has been a reminder of our need for Christ and our common bond in his kingdom.

One phrase that especially impacted me this week was from a song we sang at the opening worship session. We sang the song “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and in one of the verses it says, “ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” That single phrase has been challenging me the first couple days of this convention.

When our human flesh doubts what is possible, we need to ponder with a new fresh perspective what the Lord might be ready to do in our lives and in our relationships with God and each other. With humans the possibilities are limited, but with God they are beyond our imagination. They are unlimited!

I am excited about the rest of this week and I am especially excited about how this new epiphany might shape our perspectives, especially my own. Will you join me this week in “pondering anew what the Almighty can do?” I hope so! Blessings to all of you who are a part of this wonderful Kingdom of Heaven.

Make it personal: What new thing are you needing in your life? A new perspective? A new attitude? A new outlook? A new realization of God’s love for you? A new appreciation of your place in God’s kingdom? Whatever it is I hope you will look to God and consider what the Almighty might be ready to do in your life.

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church