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Limiting the Kingdom of God

On May 11, I attended the Southeast Michigan Synod Assembly as the official SlideMaster. It ended with a wonderful worship service. I always enjoy worship at these events, because the congregational singing is so good! Bishop Don Kreiss led worship and preached the sermon.


I confess that at the end of a long day, which was at the end of a long week, I was packing up my stuff in preparation for the long drive home. So I was only half-listening to the sermon. But he said something that caught my attention, and I had to write it down. He said,

“The Kingdom of God is not meant to be limited by our understanding of It.”


This struck me as incredibly profound, and I have been musing on it ever since.


I read the Bible and understand based on my experience. My belief is informed by my understanding. You read the same thing and understand differently, because of your different experience. Your belief is informed by your understanding. If you and I believe differently, one of us must be wrong! (Obviously you!)


I think that this is the source of all division in the church. We define the Kingdom of God according to our limited understanding. And because of our human need to believe what we believe, and believe that it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then anyone who believes differently is, at best, misguided, and at worst, dangerous!


But in fact, ALL OF US are wrong! Because the Kingdom of God is bigger than our understanding. We all carry some portion of the truth, but who can comprehend the whole? Even St. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, acknowledged that he didn’t have all the answers: “For now we see only a reflection, as in a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”


This idea is at the core of my faith, which I admit is a bit squishy. I’m OK with not being sure about things. I hope that one day “I will know fully.” But in the meantime, I’m comfortable with the uncertainty. I’m happy to let the Kingdom of God be as big as it is, and only see a little piece.


So, that’s what I’ve been musing about. I would love to hear your musings as well, and to share them in this space. Scroll to the bottom to comment, or send me your musings at ecp2000@comcast.net.

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