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The Daily Kingdom


The well-worn path to my favorite coffee shop. The way that I am known there by both name and drink, greeted warmly when I walk through its doors. The smell of espresso and the sound of coffee being ground. The friends I have come to know better because of the times I spend there. The silly jokes and deep conversations exchanged over tea and chai and cowboy coffee. It is the richness of the memories I have in the midst of its cozy confines and the people I love.The Kingdom, as I know it, is…

Tripping as I come onto stage to lead worship for part of a prayer and worship vigil. If I had even the slightest notion that it was about me, I think God chuckled kindly at my own clumsiness. He reminded me that it was, and always will be, about Him. As it should be. It is the way I come alive when I feel His breath and presence infused into the words I sing and the notes I play.

It is the way my heart burns at the thought of Heaven coming down and dwelling, dancing, moving, igniting, changing hearts in our midst. It is the way we are blazing with the fire to see the Divine meet the mortal. Pressing in, digging deeper, never relenting, never losing hope. It’s the way I realize, all over again, that He is closer than my skin, invading every part of me until I am completely at one with Him. It is the way that I know I simply cannot be silent anymore.

The Kingdom, as I know it, is…

Gathering around with friends that feel like family, with little concept of what the words start and dismissed mean. Worshiping together, lingering in His presence and finding His truth. Seeing the Kingdom in their lives, their art, their hearts. It is hearing it in their words and singing along with it in their songs. It is in a room full of broken icons that represent the very image of God, coming together as a beautiful mosaic and reflecting who He truly is in a potent way.

The Kingdom, as I know it, is…

The sound of my family and my closest friends laughing. The way we have learned to dwell together. It is a wedding witnessed (and planned), a breath-taking baby welcomed into our world, a college graduation celebrated, a senior project aced. It is the paths we have walked together, the dark times we have seen each other through, the tears we have shared, the joy and life we have discovered.

It is the way the house where I grew up looks when it is all lit up at Christmas time. Having four generations under one roof, playing cards until the wee hours of the morning, making food together and enjoying the company of one another. It is laughing as we try not to slip on the icy sidewalks while we walk two doors down to be with our next of kin. The way my grandfather holds my grandmother’s hand, and how she nestles her head into his neck while they watch a movie. The way my dad talks about my mom…It is walking the streets where I played as a child, spending time with dear friends that I have known since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It is the way we can be all together, through heartache, imperfections, loss, celebration, turning points and change.

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The Kingdom, as I know it, is…

The way the candles flicker on my mantle and my bathroom counters. They remind me of the Light that came down to drive away the darkness in our world, the hope that came into our midst. Yahweh with skin. Emmanuel. It’s the artwork adorning the once empty spaces in my apartment and the meaning behind each piece. It’s the way God has proven over and over again that He is a faithful Father, providing my every need and astonishing me at His perfect timing. It’s so much more than bills paid, budgets balanced and savings in the bank. It is a perfect peace, a wholeness, in which He has taught me to dwell. He dismisses my every worry and gently, yet righteously, exposes my distractions and idols as I learn how to be part of His plan of redemption for the world each day that I live.

This Kingdom is part of every day, invading, pervading, living, moving, breathing. It grows only as quickly as we allow our hearts to catch on to it. In its truest form, it emulates the character of God Himself—loving, above all, gracious, compassionate, righteous, holy, just, actively effecting change, never dormant but always looking to establish itself more and more. It is beautiful, beyond what any word or song or expression of man can capture. It is everything, wrapped up in our very existence, and discovered in a way as unique as the person who takes part in it.

So tell me: what is the Kingdom to you?

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