Kingdom Come

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This past weekend I had the sacred moment of planning my father-in-law, Fletcher's funeral with him. I honestly cannot think of a greater statement of faith in the resurrected Jesus, than to plan your funeral while you are alive. To say I want to make testimony in my death to the promise of eternal life. As my Dad in Law and I moved through the process, I could feel the thick nature of the Holy Spirit in the air we breathed.

At one point my 89 year old father-in-law asked me, “Dave, what good am I anymore? My body won’t let me do anything useful?” I responded by pointing to the eight children he and his wife Avonelle had together, pictures of whom adorn the walls of his home, as well as the 26 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren (with 2 more “in the womb.”)  Then I said, “Fletcher you are doing so much for the Kingdom of God right now. Now is your finest hour for Jesus in many ways.  Fletcher you have opportunity now to be Jesus' fountain of unconditional love. To let all in your clan know of the precious grace of Jesus, that is not earned or won by a body that can compete in the Olympics. It is a love that covers us like the cloud on the Mountain of the Transfiguration and says ‘This is my Son (daughter), the Beloved ...’(Mark 9:7.) I see the expansion of the Kingdom with each conversation, hug and smile you offer.”

I am reading “An Arrow Pointing to Heaven “ (Rich Mullins' Devotional Biography) by James Bryan Smith. Smith offers this as an observation of the late Mullins' life, “ There is one thing true of all of us: we are dying to be loved. We crave it, we search for it, and if we never find it, we die spiritually. Love is our deepest reason for existence.  Rich, like all of us, longed to be loved unconditionally. He was a sinner, like all of us, who struggled to believe that God could love him. God was remaking Rich, he began to learn mercy. God was teaching him something about God's love for the weak, broken and sinful (page 57.)”

There was a huge portion of me that did not want to leave Iowa last Saturday to return home. It was as if Fletcher had figured out Smith's words above. I watched him scoop love and laughter into grandchildren, great-grandchildren, children, and even us in-laws.  When we reach the final times of our days and we know the dimension of the kingdom that is to come is near, spiritual giants like my father-in-law relax in a life well lived, realizing sins that were forgiven, mercy that has been granted as promised, and the unconditional love of God that eludes no one!

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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