Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Peaceable Kingdom will not arrive by magic.


The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Isaiah's Peaceable Kingdom will not come about by magic.  We are called to create it.

------------------------------------------------------------


It was probably eight years ago that I was on a Frontier Airlines flight from Tampa to Denver.

My seat mate was a young (23 years old) man, a member of the LDS Church, who was on his way home to Utah -  to his wife, his child, and his dog.

I asked him about his faith, and especially about his work as a young LDS Elder and the two year? missionary service which young Mormons undertake.

I asked him about his wife, his child, and his dog.

In turn he asked my about my faith and life as an Episcopalian Minister, and about the Episcopal Church.

As we drew near to Denver he thanked me.  He said "you are the first Christian minister I have ever met who hasn't told me all that's wrong about the LDS Church".

DUH  But of course!  His LDS roots were deep and important to him. Who was I to try to "convert" him?  That would have been foolish and unkind, even arrogant: (two hours on a plane versus his lifetime of LDS faith!)

The Peaceable Kingdom is ours to create.  I did my little bit on that flight.

---------------------------------------------------




I thought about that young man when I encountered two very young  (20ish) Jehovah's Witnesses as they sat on a bench in Arlington Park, their easel of literature nearby.

It's a common enough sight.  Gentle Jehovah's Witness folks sit in public places - ready to talk about their faith - but only speaking when they are spoken to. They eschew evangelistic aggression.

I spoke to them with words like these.  "I am a retired  Christian Pastor and I know that I will never become a Jehovah's Witness. But I admired your willingness to give witness to your faith in this gentle manner".

I added "I utterly hate the fact that J.W's are being tortured and imprisoned in Russia. I will pray for them"

It was another gracious encounter with folks whose theology I eschew, but whose lives are precious to God. 

The Peaceable Kingdom is ours to create.  I did my little bit in Arlington Park today.


Isaiah's Peaceable Kingdom will not come about by magic.  We are called to create it.


No comments:

Post a Comment