The Kingdom Came on My Block

Neighboring-Picture.jpg

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Every week we pray together, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It’s a nice general kind of prayer... but I like to make it specific and measurable. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in Englewood as it is in heaven”... or better, “on my block as it is in Heaven.”

In order to pray for our neighborhoods in really specific kingdom-minded ways, we need to develop a kingdom imagination.

What would your neighborhood look like if it was suddenly transported into the perfect kingdom of God; the New Jerusalem. What would it look like if the same houses stood in their current locations and the same people lived in all of them... but they were transformed by the glory and grace of God?

Imagine your neighbors as resurrected saints, retaining their unique personalities, but cleansed of their guilt and shame; more fully “them” than they presently are or ever have been.

Can you envision what they would be like if all their broken parts: past sins committed by and against them that have made them clamor for attention or hide in their homes and inside themselves, had been healed?

What would your block look like if all your neighbors’ thoughts and deeds toward their neighbors and fellow humans were only good all the time? And peace, like a river, as they say, attendeth their way?

If your neighborhood is anything like mine, then there is a great chasm between the present reality and the kingdom vision. But is it possible, that you and your family, by God’s grace, could capture a piece of that glorious future and bring it back in the present? Could the kingdom really come to your neighborhood?

Well, yes, Jesus said, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

Here’s my challenge for you. Close your eyes and imagine your neighborhood transported to the kingdom; think about specific neighbors and the specific ways they are in need of grace. Then pray the Lord’s Prayer in specific ways for the people that live around you. Finally look for God to answer those prayers and join in when you see Him at work... I’ll say it again, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

If you’d like to lean into a neighborhood vision for your block, but feel like you could use some support, I’d like to invite you to the Neighboring Life Group. We meet on the fourth Sunday of every month to support and encourage each other as we seek the kingdom in our neighborhoods.

Our next meeting is Sunday, June 28th at 3:00pm. Contact Joe Anderson at joe@gracenow.org to learn more about this new Life Group and ways to get involved in your neighborhood!

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