As we await the days of the Son of Man,
that time when the Kingdom of God will be made known in its fullness…
there are three charges or mandates for every baptized person….regardless of our vocation:
1.) we are to name the Kingdom…for it is among us;
learn to distinguish what is of God and what is not of God,
seek out and learn what constitutes God’s presence among us.
2.) we are to proclaim God’s presence, show it to others, spread the information,
use our words and gestures to communicate this belief.
And 3.) we are to celebrate…to take the time to enjoy, to appreciate, to delight in the Kingdom.
God’s Kingdom is not something to be afraid of.
We do these three things every time we come together for Eucharist.
There was a wealthy man who lost his wife when his only child was very young.
So he hired a housekeeper to do the house work, and to take care of the boy.
The boy died tragically at twenty years of age.
And now the old man was without family, without kin.
He died of a broken heart some years later.
He had no heir to his enormous estate, nor could one be found.
Neither was there a will.
So the whole property passed to the state.
In due course there was an auction
to dispose of the personal effects of the mansion.
The old housekeeper attended the auction,
not because she could buy anything
but her grief was too strong to keep her away.
There was only one thing in the whole collection that attracted her attention.
It was a photo of the son.
She had loved him as her own.
No one at the auction wanted the photo, and her few coins were enough to buy it.
She brought it home, and proceeded to take it from the frame.
When she opened the back of the frame some papers fell out.
They looked important, so she brought them to a lawyer.
The lawyer looked at her with a smile and said:
"You sure have landed on your feet this time.
The old gentleman has left all his estates and all his money
to the person who loved his son enough to buy his picture."
If we love the Son of God,
love him enough to embrace his presence,
love him enough to spend our lives naming and proclaiming and celebrating
his Kingdom on earth,
we will inherit his eternal Kingdom.
We will receive the greatest of all blessings:
everlasting life in heaven.