“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”.
Matt 3:2 NIV
The Revd Trevor Hudson recounted an embarrassing experience he had when seeking to enter the ministry. “It was a nerve-wracking moment. I had resigned from secular employment and offered myself as a candidate for the ordained ministry. The first requirement involved passing an oral examination before the annual Synod. Examining me was a bishop well known for his direct and stern approach. His first question seemed simple enough. ‘Tell me, Mr Hudson’, asked the bishop, ‘what was the central message of Jesus?’ ‘Forgiveness of sins, sir!’ I shot back immediately. ‘No’ responded the bishop, matter of factly.
‘Peace on earth, sir’ I tried again, remembering a line from the chorus of the heavenly host that startled sleepy shepherds in the middle of the night. ‘No’ said the bishop again, as my face I’m sure began to redden. By this time, I thought it would be best for me to give up trying and I said so. Leaning over his desk the bishop caught my eyes in his solid gaze and said, ‘I want you never, never to forget that the main message of Jesus was, the kingdom of God is at hand’”(T. Hudson, Signposts to Spirituality, p47)
It was not only the key to Christ’s own message. It was the thrust of John the Baptist’s call as well. There were other kingdoms competing for people’s allegiance. The Roman Empire was one. Herod the King’s rule was dominant at that time. And other empires were clamouring for people’s loyalty as well, including other religions.
Never forget that John called people to observe and serve the kingdom of God. So did Jesus. Decide now that you will serve God and no other king.
Lord, make me a servant of the king of kings.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
I pray Lord for those families where a family member suffers from Alzheimer’s. Help the other people to generate extra sensitivity to the sufferer’s condition and enable them to love and care with gentleness and endurance. Help scientists to find medications that will reduce the suffering. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN
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