Already and Not Yet

Jen Petersen

Read: James 5:7-11

You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (v. 8)

Each spring our family visits our local gardening center together. We pick out tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers, and maybe a few new vegetables too. But they don’t look like tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers, just varying green shoots. We bring them home and plant them in our garden plot and spend the next month watering and weeding before we ever see anything edible.

The kingdom of God is kind of like our garden. Jesus established God’s kingdom on earth more than 2,000 years ago. He sent the Holy Spirit and established the church to carry on his work. We see evidence of God in our midst everywhere we see restoration and reconciliation. Yet we’re still waiting for the fullness of all its fruit to be evident. There is still heartache and suffering in our world. There is still injustice and oppression. Everything is not yet as it should be, and so we are waiting for all things to be made new in Christ.

But, like waiting on our backyard garden, we don’t wait idly. Our garden takes tending and weeding and so does our participation in God’s kingdom. While we wait for the fullness of God’s kingdom, we partner with God in his work of reconciliation, we point to the places where we see God working, and we hope for the day when the work will be complete. —Jen Petersen

As you pray, ask God to show you how to actively participate in God’s kingdom.