But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Seek First the Kingdom – The Seekers Series – Part 2
When I was a kid, our church used to have “seeker services.” There seemed to be two ideas around these meetings:
1) They were meant to be “seeker friendly” for people who wanted to know more about God, and who we didn't want to scare off with our normal pentecostal behavior. They were “tamed down” services.
2) They were meetings where we “saught god” with all our heart, mind, and strength. Which basically canceled out the desired effect of reason 1 (imagine lots of praying and crying and shaking and music and people everywhere… for hours. Hours, people!)
Now, being a seeker means neither of the above two things for me (phew). It’s the posture of an open and humble heart that is committed to quest, search, discover, question, and explore the Divine for as long as it has blood pumping through it.
In a precarious political and social environment, Jesus asked his followers not to overthrow the government, but to “seek first the Kingdom of God…”
When reading this verse, and teaching on it, our focus usually falls on the word “first” and not the word “seek.” In a time when people were seeking freedom, certainty, release, political and cultural validation… Jesus told them where to look.
He asked them to SEEK. Not to obtain but to look for, search, embark on a journey… seek the Kingdom of God.
What is this Kingdom? It’s become such a familiar phrase in faith communities, I’m not sure we really know what it means anymore.
This is why we seek. We search, discover, quest, question, and explore this transcendent Kingdom that is not of this world until the day we move from this life and into the next. Life is a journey (without sounding too cliché). We walk down the winding path of discovery through everything we experience. There is always more to learn, more to do, more to become, more of God to find. His Kingdom is always expanding (don’t think church building, but creative energy that cannot help but grow).
There are a few things we know about this Kingdom that we seek. It's one of love, peace, hope… it's found by faith, we approach it by grace, and all are welcome.
When you are faced with opposition, heartache, vilification, oppression, injustice, greed, hatred… what do you seek first in the situation? Are you being led by your wound or Spirit? (Thanks, Torri *wink*). There is a reason that Jesus said “seek first,” he didn’t say seek only… but first. Let your responses be led by your search for the Kingdom of God. If you have been wronged, heartbroken, abused, hurt, set aside, ripped off… Seek justice, seek change and reform and protest and be angry. But let it be done by walking down the road of grace and hope rather than hate and revenge.
The thing about being a seeker is that you learn that the Divine is found right underneath your nose, in the muck, mess, and middle of life. Even when being controlled by a foreign government which is slowly murdering the life out of your traditions and people. Even then, seek. And you will find.
Written by Liz Milani
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