“Inherit the kingdom,” said Jesus in this perfect invitation. The very word inherit calls to our minds a parent who has been thinking about us. We are not aimless drifters wandering here and yonder without a home. We are not ragamuffins or orphans sleeping under bridges or wherever we can steal a night’s lodging. We are not orphans scurrying for bread and having to get it solely by our wits. We are our Father’s children, and he loves us one and all. We speak of having to make our way, but this is only half a truth. Our way is made for us. We only have to walk in it. God does see about his own. All other apparent evidence is spurious. All other gloomy conclusion is artificially based. We are not in it alone. We do not have to steal to make our way. We do not have to lie to get ahead. We do not have to scheme to make our way. Inherit!
An old and dear teacher of mine, Francis Buckler, in his clipped Cambridge accent, used to tell us of God’s kingdom as the kingdom that cannot be forcibly seized. So no man can flex his muscles and gain God’s favor. Likewise, no man need or can batter his way into what God has for him. But a meek and quiet spirit, with eyes and heart wide open to God and hands willing, can get without violence and without fighting all that God has. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Oh, how you and I need to hear God saying to us, about our worthiest desires, as he said to Abraham, that man of faith, “Lift up thine eyes and look from the place where thou art northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land which thou seest will I give thee.” Never let the mood of abandonment own you.
Ther is another word at the last, “prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We think that life moves along by chance, happenstance. A fine old psalm has it this way, “O Lord thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising and understandest my thought afar off.” The things the Lord hath in store for us are not chance events, impromptu, gathered on the spur of the moment. The Lord has made provisions. Not this morning, not last year, not last century. But the Lord has provided for our needs from the morning of creation, when as the Bible says in a lovely passage, “The morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy.”
Can you believe that? Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Some of us will leave this day to face a week of joy. Others will go forth to fiery trials and to the valley of the shadow. But we can all go forth knowing that the Lord has prepared for us. There will be waiting for us, whatever our lot, the mighty hand of God to lead us through. Did you think when you came safely through that hard and difficult way that it was sudden luck that opened a path for you? Nay. It was the Lord. He makes things ready. He spreads the table. He opens the door. He bids us welcome. He opens the path through the roaring sea for his troubled ones. He throws up a highway in the desert for his people. Listen to these strong, calm old words again and take heart: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maks me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me by the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. He anointeth my head with oil. He maketh my cup to run over.” He hath, and he will.