Build Your Kingdom Here
I have been going to Yoga for years now, loving and hating each session (because seriously, how is stretching so ridiculously hard?!!??) One of the practices in Yoga is setting an intention for your workout—what you want to accomplish in that time and then acting in confidence that this is what will occur. I brushed off setting an intention for a long time, just simply saying to myself that my intention was to not scream “NO!” when we we have to go into downward facing dog for the 50 millionth time. However, I recently read a definition of intention that has changed my mind. Kelsy Patel (a yogi) says this about intentions: “Often times people allow the day, or the week, or the month to happen to them, and when you set an intention, you are activating your receptivity and manifesting and putting out that which you intend to attract and call into your life, and that is the power behind it.” So I liken living without intention to be like the days where I spend the entire day in front of a TV vegging out, realizing at the end of the day that my existence in those 12 hours did nothing to move anything in my life forward—life just happened to me. Intentions define purpose and put us on the path that will lead to seeing those intentions come to fruition.
Seeing now the power of setting an intention, I see how important intentions are in our faith—affirming that we have a purpose and power to accomplish amazing things on God’s kingdom. Our song for call to worship, Build Your Kingdom Here, offers some really great words to use to set an intention with: “We seek Your kingdom first…To see the captive hearts released. The hurt; the sick; the poor at peace…We are Your church, we are the hope on earth.” I want us to start our time together setting our minds and hearts in acknowledging that we are bringing God’s kingdom here and we will see healing and peace in this world.
By Our Love
When hurt happens in life, fear finds a voice—saying there isn’t enough love for everyone, that you have to fight to earn love and maintain your relevance in order to keep love in your life. I think of examples in my life where I experienced hurt and how fear entered my life, driving the choices I made that only led to more pain and more fear. Living a life where love is scarce is traumatic, lonely and often feels like God is not there.
What I find to be so moving about the song “By Our Love” is that it’s written from the perspective of someone who is living in God’s love, not in fear: “We will come reaching, out of our comforts…with a song of healing, and they will know us by our love.” See, the message when hurt and fear enters our lives is not truth, does not define who we are and is not a reflection of what God intends for us in our life. God calls us to live in love—abundant love that changes our lives because we are not ruled by fear. When we reject fear and accept that love is not a scarcity, we bring God’s kingdom here by being truth-tellers to the world that fear is wrong, love is not scarce and we are here to love and help them. And the world will know us by our love.
If We’re Honest
My kids are amazing—they are funny, precious little people who show me unconditional love. They also 6 and 7 years old and don’t have full frontal lobe development so half the time they act like they’re having a psychotic episode, which is usually when we’re out at the store and I’ve had to tell Jack 10 times that the scale at the self check out is not a chair while also trying to peel Caroline off the floor during one of her epic tantrums. And it makes me want to run for the hills. Later I log onto Facebook and see my friends with their kids and they all look calm and happy—and now I feel like the worst mother ever because my kids look like a tornado hit nearby and I just got done flipping out and yelling “I CAN ONLY DO ONE THING AT A TIME!” and wishing I could go hide in my room for a couple hours. In the past, I would NEVER have admitted any of this. I would have felt like an even worse mother and a burden to whoever had to listen to my hurt. Why? I think the answer is fear. What will happen if I talk about it? Will they think I’m crazy or stupid or a big whiner and not want to have anything to do with me? Will they think I’m a bad person or mom because I think this way?
Again, fear is lying. There is a line in If We’re Honest that says this so well—“bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine, cause love can heal what hurt divides and mercy’s waiting on the other side, if we’re honest.” When we are honest and authentic, we find that we are not alone. Once I started talking to my friends about my struggles as a parent, I found out real quick that my frustrations and hurts were not unique. Other people are going through the same things I am and we are able to support each other. God meant for us to have a community where we can be ourselves, talk about our hurts, ask for forgiveness from each other—simply said, God meant for us to live in His love.
John 13:34-35 “A new command l I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday.