Friday, September 5, 2008

Coffee Filters & the Kingdom of God

This morning started off like any other Friday. I had the week's preaching assignment in mind and every intention of getting to the office, settling in and then getting to work on the sermon by now.

Instead, I lit my candle asking God to guide me through the day. I cleaned off my desk so that I would be in a good space for listening to God's inspiration as I snapped at the keys on my laptop. And then I went out to the work room to make coffee. It was then that I remembered, that I needed to buy more coffee filters.

I realize that shouldn't be all that big of a deal, but I am someone who like's his routine and so breaking that routine to run out to Albertson's doesn't really get me in the mood for being inspired by God in preparation of a message for Sunday morning. So I got my keys and locked up the office and headed out to the store, granted that I have a job, a car, and the ability to run off and buy what I need should make me feel content; but like most of you I simply took all of those things for granted and headed out.

Once I finally located the filters and paid for them with every intent of getting back into my routine as quickly as possible. It was with that in mind that I noticed that a woman in the parking lot was focussed on me in an uncomfortable way, I mean she was staring right at me. Not that I was too terribly disturbed by this, after all her car was parked right by my own. As I got closer she asked if I had a minute, which I felt that I did not, but said "Sure." What she called my attention to was that she had purchased a case of Arizona Iced Tea which was heavy and wedged into the bottom of her grocery cart. She wanted me to help her get it into the car.

It turned out to be a pretty heavy case and it didn't want to budge. So I put my coffee filters down and got down on one knee and pushed and pulled and moved the cart and finally, after a few minutes liberated the case of tea and placed it into her van. She thanked me and I got back in my car and came back to settle in for the day.

So what do coffee filters have to do with the Kingdom of God? Well, I believe that God's Kingdom isn't just something that exists in the life after this. It is also, for followers of Christ, something that we are to try to create in the here and now. It's not that I believe my liberating the woman's tea is going to make that big of a difference, but stopping and helping someone out is a witness to the Gospel, a witness that even though I wanted to be about my day, that another child of God was just as deserving of my time and effort. And so, maybe coffee filters can help bring about the Kingdom of God, even in some small way.

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