Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


What does the Bible say? All sorts of things. What did Jesus say? ‘God’s kingdom is like’…’It’s as though’(v.26)…Over. And over. And over. Again.

God’s kingdom is like the Dowtown Y at lunchtime where the first to arrive for a group fitness class is greeted by the sound of hammers on glass. Her concern turns to disbelief. Shards of mirror fall to the floor. A supervisor takes his seat to watch the demolition. Could they not wait an hour to do this?

When the instructor arrives he approaches those in hard-hats. He assures them that the class participants can move to the back portion of the room and that the music will make their job enjoyable. Says he to the class: “New mirrors y’all: This is a good thing, right?”

The woman is me and the moment is parabolic because it revealed something that was not well with my soul or an attitude at odds with the New Creation.

It’s called spiritual smugness. You know, when you critique others for some way of being or behaving. You cannot for the life of you make sense of it; a disposition that distracts you from finding yourself guilty—guilty of the thing that displeases you so.

Here I was, the one who bemoans how agitated folks get about the smallest of things, agitated. Here I was, the one who believes people at the Y need to get off their rude medication and on a strict chill pill regimen, a bearer of antagonism.

I don’t mean to say that the kingdom of God is like the me of that moment. Rather, that God’s kingdom is furthered by the disruptive grace that found me and brought me out.

I was looking at an unbecoming selfie. By grace, I accepted the corrective energy flowing from the instructor. Instead of holding on to my initial feelings, internally justifying them, etc., I gave myself a quick talking-to and cleaned up my act, nearly laughing out loud at the ways of our God.

Life is full of parabolic moments that will move us to see ourselves and our communities as we are. Images and interactions are able upend and unwind a myriad of what obstructs. Thanks be to God, I tell you. Thanks be~