Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Coming Kingdom of God

As I mentioned yesterday, I am at Honey Creek getting in some continuing education at the Diocese of Georgi's clergy conference. Our speaker, Bishop Clifton Daniel of the East Carolina told a compelling story yesterday of what the Kingdom of God looks and feels like. I know I can't capture the emotion, but I want to share the story.

He told of being a young priest and going alone to Jerusalem to study at St. George's College, which offers short study trips. He arrived at dusk and found the gates locked. No one responded when he rang the bell. He walked around the walled complex in this foreign city where he didn't know how unsafe the neighborhood was and he had already experienced an inability to communicate with others in getting to the grounds. Frustrated and alone, he circled the large compound four times. He was exhausted, alone, hungry and fearful. He sat down and cried. A woman saw him in his clericals and spoke to him in English asking if he was an Anglican priest. He said he was. She said, "It doesn't look good for the church for you to be crying outside it like this." She went on, leaving him even more isolated than before. He had no idea what to do.

Then as if a door opened where there was only solid wall before, light streamed out of the side of the wall. He called out and someone he did not recognize came and called him by name, took his bag and said with relief that they had been looking for him. Once inside he found a place set, ready to be filled with food waiting for him and a large group of people joyful that he was safe and sound. There were no familiar faces, but all had been anxious for his arrival and all were glad to welcome him in from the dark and cold.

He said this is his major image of the end of life or the end of time and how we will be welcomed into the coming Kingdom of God.



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