It took a long time for Jesus’ disciples to really grasp what God’s Reign was all about. Not even three years of living with Jesus and hearing his teaching could drive it home. It was only when they really began to live this reality together that they began to understand it – and then it changed the world.
But it is not just the disciples who found it hard to understand. Throughout the ages,
followers of Jesus have always struggled to really “get” God’s Reign and to live it out in their daily lives.
One of the reasons for this is that God’s Reign is completely different from what we’re used to in human empires. In the ways of women and men, it is the leader, the strong, the adult, the wealthy and the powerful who are the examples of what life should be.
But, in the Reign of Christ, it is children who reveal the principles and values that guide us. This was so surprising and shocking that the disciples tried to send the
children away when they came for blessing. But Jesus gently rebuked them and taught them one of the most important lessons of living in God’s Reign – it must be accepted with the faith, wonder, and willingness to give up control that come so naturally to children.
Unfortunately, we still struggle to embrace faith like this. We prefer to be in control. We prefer not to be surprised. We prefer to know with certainty. And by doing this, we miss out on the wonder, the joy and the breath-taking beauty of living God’s way. But, when we can release our need for knowledge, certainty and control, and when we can begin to live with childlike humility and trust, we discover a whole new quality of life. We also begin to bring life to others as we invite them to share our joy, our playfulness, our trust and our openness to love. This is what the Reign of Christ looks like!