Bubbles of the Kingdom and the Love Commandments

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow are we to share the kingdom of heaven?  Since I’ve recently debunked the myth of our ability to pray for rain etc…  Perhaps I should continue the myth busting by saying that heaven is not in the sky.  I have to say that I think John Lennon was almost right with “Imagine there’s no [traditional understanding of] heaven, above us only sky.”  For, as the song confesses, it is here that we need to make the difference not in some utopian land.  Belinda Carlisle also came close singing ‘heaven is a place on earth’, however  “The Kingdom of Heaven could well be on earth if we work hard enough” would not have been such a catchy song title.  I’d like to add to the parables of Jesus with the following: “The kingdom of heaven is like blowing bubbles – they appear to be beautiful, but just try and get hold of one.” I’ve recently come across the Ten Commandments of love.  Now I have an idea what some of you might be expecting, but amongst this list you’ll certainly not find the predictable ‘pick up the dirty socks’, ‘buy flowers for no reason’, ‘make sure there is cold beer in the fridge.’ Etc.  Such things might be conducive to a peaceful cohabitation, but strangely enough they won’t break down the barriers between warring neighbours or be a first step on a path to reconciliation.  Sharing the kingdom of heaven requires a little more dedication.  The following are attitudes to our own behaviour; things, unlike the weather, that we might be able to control and even change.  They are also attitudes of the kingdom of God, of heaven and the more we display them, the closer it becomes.
So from Proverbs:  Listen without interrupting.  We give a voice to those who might not always be heard.
James: Speak without accusing. To speak gently of all we meet is a true gift of God.
Proverbs: Give without sparing.  Giving as if there is no limit and without expecting a return brings blessings upon ourselves.
Colossians:  Pray without ceasing.    A life lived at prayer becomes a life lived in the midst of God and walking with Jesus.
Proverbs: Answer without arguing.  Accepting the views of others without trying to change their mind is a generous gift.
Ephesians:  Share without pretending.  In sharing openly we lay ourselves  bare to the other inviting confidence and honesty.
Philippians:  Enjoy without complaint.  To enjoy what is offered without want for more or something different is a mark of hospitality of spirit.
1 Corinthians:  Trust without wavering.  To allow oneself to totally trust the other delves deep into the human spirit and draws us closer together.  Colossians:
Forgive without punishing.  True forgiveness does not look back for revenge, it is a line in the sand, or a blanks page.
Proverbs:  Promise without forgetting.  A kept promise is worth a thousand words of apology.  All of these are ways to love for the kingdom of God comes close when we show love for each other.  We might just be able to grasp the bubble and hold it for a while.

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