During last Sat's prep session for the upcoming OLPS L9 Camp, the service teams started out using lego bricks to build what they envision to be the Kingdom of God. They then listed out the traits that characterize such a Kingdom.
Next, I challenged them to consider: what if the Kingdom of God isn't a place we only get to at the end of our lives, but rather a reality that can be experienced and built right here on earth - something we pray for each time we pray the Lord's Prayer: "Your kingdom come.. on earth as it is in heaven"; and something which Jesus Himself proclaims: "the Kingdom is among you" (Lk 17:21) How then can we make this kingdom of ours a reality on earth?
They then proceeded to write down words and actions which they appreciate people saying to them and doing for them, along with words and actions that hurt or upset them. They soon realised how our careless, hurtful words and actions can actually destroy the kingdom on earth. Yet at the same time, we could also use words and actions that concretely build His kingdom.
Finally, we created a safe space where in learning to use the right words and take the right actions, people could feel safe enough to share their deepest struggles, and eventually experience Kingdom values of love, acceptance, non-judgement, empathy, trust, support etc. It was through these safe spaces that made everyone feel so much closer to one another, and actually experience God's Kingdom on earth.
Seeing each group hugging and praying for each other with such sincerity and love truly warmed my heart. Having them run up to me to hug me and thank me for loving them through my vulnerability and trust in them, which encouraged them to be vulnerable themselves, also moved me to tears. It was another affirmation of God's mission for me to create safe spaces and build His kingdom right here on earth. And all of us are equally capable of doing so through the words that we say and the actions that we do for others. "For, you must know, the kingdom of God is among you." (Lk 17:21)
#kingdombuilding #kingdomonearth #safespaces #vulnerabilitygoals