The most-darling-three-year-old-in-the-Universe, (my oldest granddaughter) is R-E-A-L-L-Y into princess stuff. Like, it’s a struggle for her mom to get her to change out of one of her (many) princess outfits if they need to go public somewhere, like to the grocery store.
Of course, then she got a mermaid bathing suit, and it’s been rough getting her out of that one, as in this recent chat with her mom:
“Don’t ever make proclamations about how you’ll parent or what your child/ren will do. That’s how you end up in a suburban bank with a 3-year-old mermaid perched on your hip.”
But, along with Pooh Bear, mermaids, and tea parties, the princess things still rank pretty high on her radar for now. And as with all things (grand)parenting, it give us great pleasure to follow those interests with her. What will develop next?
There will come a time, however, when I will want to give her something that I value, something I hope she will use wisely, and handle with care and honor. And I will have great joy in giving it to her. So I have a minuscule understanding of this statement of Jesus:
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”
Whoa, hoss! We’re not talking about some trinket of memorabilia here. Or even an heirloom piece of something. Just what am I supposed to do with a Kingdom, and God’s Kingdom of all things? I can’t even keep my own house clean!
A little on, Jesus clarifies:
“The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,
Nor will people say, Look! Here it is! or, See, it is there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].”
Now, here’s where Jesus puts an interesting spin on the whole Kingdom of God issue. Nobody’s strutting around in embroidered velvet vying for Rome’s crown, (although a couple of His own disciples were considering it.)
One of the really fabulous take-aways here is the fact that it is God’s pleasure to instill His Kingdom within each of His people, and (according to Paul) He does this in so many different and creative ways.
We get into serious trouble, however, when we discount/distain the piece of the Father’s Kingdom in someone else’s life. Maybe it’s a “section of town” I normally wouldn’t visit (like the fish market if I’m not fond of the smell).
Here’s a really good practical example. Kris Vallotton makes a good point that in some circles, art is considered less than spiritual, and yet how can that be when our God is, Himself, the Creator?
The point is this—if it God’s pleasure to give us His Kingdom, and His Kingdom is in and among us, I need to take the time and make the effort to recognize, nurture, honor and protect that within others, and within myself.
Besides, you never know when a princess or a mermaid might come in handy….
**Accomplished artist artist Paul Boecher as he prepares a mermaid for a local restaurant. Check out the full story at A Time To Share.
Luke 12:32 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.