BUILDING THE KINGDOM
A few years ago I made the bold decision to put a $40,000 downpayment on a condominium. It was a new construction because I wanted to be the first person to use everything in the unit. When the unit finally was completed and ready for use, I discovered that approximately three feet of the unit mysteriously had disappeared. It was three feet narrower. When a unit is built, neither the architect nor the builder can guarantee that the finished product will be exactly as the plans. But a three foot difference is very large. It is enough to construct a viewing arena around the circumference of the unit, which is what I believe the builders did. The unit also provided easy access that rendered a locked front door irrelevant. The ceiling of this luxury unit, and virtually every other unit in the building was made of removable gypsum tiles so that someone could travel from one unit to the next by traversing the empty space above the ceiling tiles. The electrical heating and air conditioning equipment for the units were placed precariously in the ceiling above the bathroom tub. So what does one do when faced with this dilemma? Of course, I refused to take occupancy. The builders kept 50% of my downpayment.
Building a physical residence may be impossible to do for ourselves. For better or for worse, we are forced to rely on a builder. Building a spiritual home is different. At Calvary, Jesus laid the foundation for our spiritual home, and he now expects us to participate in the building process. He wants us to determine who we want to be in his kingdom--earthlings with their faults and insecurities, or spiritual beings in search of perfection? What do we expect of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ when they enter God's kingdom? Do we expect them to be the same as they were on earth, or do we expect that they will have been transformed. And what do we want the kingdom to be. Should it be a transplanted facsimile of life on earth? Or should it be radically different? We can decide what we would like God's kingdom to be. If we participate in building it we cannot possibly be disappointed. We will have what we built.
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