|One day at a time Lord Jesus|
Deu 8:3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
When my grandfather died more than 50 years ago, the family did not have money to pay for the headstone. When my father died, we manage to afford the funeral, with not much luxury. We had spent so many years trying to avoid being poor eg having a good education, and working hard, but often what we had focused on becomes reality. When we planned too far ahead, we fail to live for today.
The manna in the bible was given one day at a time, a simple meal nothing fancy that would make you full yet you would not go starving too much.
In this world where we live for materialistic enjoyment, and luxury, living in simplicity one day at a time and listening and be connected to Jesus is difficult.
When we live for today, God has great plans for us. It was with great irony, that the only time my dad heard me preach was in his own eulogy. I had a lot of practice in doing church prayers and in cell group. We would not know what will come tommorow when our gifts and ministry would be or have been used from the simplest of service to God.
During this period of spiritual and physical challenges, my perspective on the Christian faith has changed to be more spiritual and meditative that transcends beyond an earthly kingdom.
Henri Nouwen asserts that we move from solitude to community to ministry. But in reality, we are often too occupied with community because our partner and friends and the ministry activities often fill our days. The challenge is to go from community that we are in to solitude, to live one day at a time connected with Jesus.
The Christian Faith is a faith of living one day at a time, and enjoying life and giving thanks for God's blessings for this day. He will take care of the tommorow. We often planned too much although plan we should. But life is not about tommorow, but today, and our communion with Jesus.
Some gay men had the gifts to empathise with others, and I see them actively going out to stand beside the down trodden. Their way of Christianity, in preparing the way of the Lord is to bring love and kinship for a better world.
For me the way of the Lord is a bit more mystical and spiritual. St John prepared the way of the Lord by going out in the desert and calling for personal repentance and baptism for sins and point to the Messiah who was to come. He didn't go to the rich and the political leaders to confront them on social injustice. His kingdom of God was not the salvation of the earth they were living in, but a heavenly salvation.
St John the Baptist didn't really died standing up against the powers to be for social injustice. He was killed because he criticised the unholiness of Herod in having his brother's wife. He didn't exactly criticised Herod for being evil and cruel to the people. Herod was indeed reluctant to order John's death. Herod was more a political fox rather than a cold blooded ruler.
When Jesus came, the disciples of John became the disciples of Jesus for Jesus took over the ministry in the desert places calling on sinners to repent and be baptised onto eternal salvation. Hence, upon baptism, they were part of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It was a personal salvation and decision to be part of a heavenly kingdom and not a corporate salvation. Our stay on earth was to be temporary and we too will return back to heaven like Jesus Christ.
Isaiah foretold this "salvation" will be to all peoples, for the ministry of John and Jesus was initially to the Jews only, but the disciples took it to the gentiles that when they believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour they too became part of the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. Hence, the way of salvation, the bridge to God was made available to non-Jews.
What does the Kingdom of God being both an earthly and heavenly kingdom means? There is a special gift in the GLBT community to see beyond the earthly into the spiritual.
When we are baptised into the Kingdom of God, we are born again and having the spiritual eyes to see and commune into another kingdom. There are earthly prayers to Jesus in known languages and understanding, but also spiritual prayers in spiritual tongues that transcends us into a spiritual realm.
During this last few weeks of struggle and even health issues, I am learning to live one day at a time. It is that spiritual connection, always in prayer and discernment, that Jesus becomes a present reality in troubled times.
Life is about communion with the person of the Holy Spirit each day as we listen to Holy Spirit of God and worship spiritually. We reach a point to realise that we are spirit beings and our spirit can transcend our physical bodies.
During this Christmas season where gifts and laughter and feasting abounds, we often forget the simplicity of Christ coming not in a 5 star hotel luxury but in a tattered manger. It is a season of holidays for many friends who would stay in five star hotels and business class airlines. We seek joy and peace often in the luxury of life and why not if we do indeed have the means for life on earth is short.
The Lord's prayer reads "Give us this day our daily bread ..." which is rare for today. For who would eat bread without any spread of jam, or who would eat white rice alone without vegetables and meat side dishes. Yet, God promised us our daily bread, the white plain bread and not roast turkey. God promised us basic necessities for our focus is to be on the heavens and not to fill our earthly indulgences.
The walk of faith and simplicity with Jesus starts with giving thanks for God's grace and mercy, for the little and the mundane, the simple white loaf of bread that we eat daily and not so much to notice the lack of meat and vegetables. We can't change or influence the outside world, without first having the nature and communion with Christ within us. Hence, we need to practise the presence of God.
When Jesus comes back to earth to bring us back home to heaven if we indeed accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, few would anticipate the timing for they will still be feasting and shopping till the last days. The sign is in the gay marriages for salvation into the Kingdom of God, must first be available to all the tribes on earth.
The 2nd coming of Christ would be an easy transition if Christ is already so close to us in our daily walk, one day at a time. May Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.