The Kingdom

A Few Thoughts
by Rebekah Duke, staff member

Jesus often preached that “the kingdom of God is near.” When I was growing up, for some reason, I always thought that the kingdom of God meant “going to heaven after we die.” As a kid, the thought of waiting to experience heaven until I die was literally a lifetime away. It seemed as though we were supposed to be good people (you know….don’t cuss, be nice, stay pure, etc.) and basically just wait to get to heaven once we die.

As I’ve grown into adulthood, I’ve learned that we get the opportunity to take part in the kingdom of God that is actually taking place here on earth, as it is in heaven. I’ve also learned that most of us will spend at least some moments in hell as we exist here on earth. We all go through periods of pain, suffering, and loss.

Over the past several years at Dry Bones, we have experienced both heaven and hell. There are some seasons where I cry out to God to bring us out of the hell, or at least to be there with us when we’re living in it. Then there are other seasons where I see the kingdom of God playing out right in front of my very eyes. This summer has been one of those seasons filled with beauty, flourishing, and gratitude.

This morning I met with a couple who may begin spending time investing in two young orphan friends of Dry Bones. This afternoon, a hair stylist is coming to the Dry Bones apartment to give a free hair cut to a friend who just got a job.

As I sit writing this, high school students are being led around the city by two of my best friends who are formerly homeless. They now volunteer their time to teach suburban youth about what it’s like to be on the streets.

The kingdom is at hand. The beautiful kingdom of God is right now. I see it before my very eyes. The kingdom is all around us, and we have an invitation to join in and experience the beauty.