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LK 12: 32-40
10th S. after Pentecost

We don't even need a horse to trade for a kingdom. We've already been given one. God's! Jesus says so. And we've been given it because God was pleased to give it to us. God is a Great Giver. And here, as ever, God takes the initiative because it pleases him to do so. That's not really hard to understand once we get out of the habit of thinking of God's kingdom as some kind of line drawn around 'some place up there somewhere', & instead, think of it, discern it as Jesus does: God's loving Rule in action. God isn't into institutions or organisations, kingdoms of the sword, or even the mind. Only a Rule of the heart. God's & ours.

A Rule without fear, as JN spells out (1 JN 4:18) in a key text for 'understanding' God & us. We may be only little, we may be only a flock, but we don't need to be afraid if we're in love with the God who's in love with us. If we don't recognize the loving God in people here & now (& they recognize the same God in us) as we journey through life in company with each other, can we have any real expectation of recognizing God in any future coming among us? I think not. Any blessedness there is in being ready for God's coming in some future sense can only be an extension of the blessedness that we have here & now as God  rules among us. In our hearts. Any apocalyptic expectation must be earthed (incarnated) in present reality. There is no heavenly Son of Man without the earthly One.

That the Son of Man is coming 'at an unexpected hour' isn't so much a matter of theology as of experience. And, honestly, I'm shocked when I realise I've missed him again! Because I didn't recognize him before my eyes in George, Georgia, & all the others. Here am I preaching to them about God, ministering to them in the things of God & at the same time not recognizing that God has come in them, is looking out at me from them. Under my nose! Understanding apocalyptic stands or falls with understanding incarnation. By God's Spirit (who better to help us recognize God?!) may we experience the blessing of every hour being God's expected hour.