Kingdom Stuff

Thanks and Giving at Northminster 2011 (Photo by Ronnie Schneider with his new super duper Sony camera that shoots panoramas)

I first heard the phrase “Kingdom stuff” half my life ago.

I was at a Baptist Peace Fellowship summer camp sitting beside my friend Darrell Adams. We were listening to someone explain how their church had opened it’s fellowship hall to the homeless of their city. Darrell turned to me and said, “Man, that’s Kingdom stuff.” I had never heard anyone use the phrase before.

Jesus taught his followers to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Those occasional glimpses of God’s will obviously being done right here, right now, are what I call “Kingdom stuff.”

Last night as I stood on the stage of our worship center (which had been transformed into the biggest family-style restaurant in town), looking out at over 200 of Northminster’s neighbors enjoying a Thanksgiving meal, I thought to myself, “This is Kingdom stuff!”

We call it Thanks and Giving. Four years ago Northminster stopped fixing another big meal for ourselves, and began to feed some of our neighbors who can’t afford a proper Thanksgiving meal.

Counting the children who ate down the hall, we fed about 250 neighbors. When I complimented our Missions Team leader, Rhonda Wells, on how smoothly the evening had gone, she smiled and said, “All it takes is 150 volunteers.”

It’s a community effort. The Northminster family was joined by students from the Armstrong Leadership Project and VCU, representatives from Hands Up Ministries, Thrive! Moms and Embrace Richmond, and lots of individuals who wanted to do something for someone else at Thanksgiving.

Church members cooked turkeys and all the fixings, set up tables and chairs, decorated the room, served the meal, provided entertainment and cleaned up after the party.

I told our guests and volunteers that we were practicing for what is going to happen one day. When God’s Kingdom does finally and fully come—when heaven crashes into earth and creation becomes all that God intends—Jesus says, “People will come from East and West, from North and South and sit at table in the Kingdom of God.” Last night we practiced for that day, and in the process caught a glimpse of what it’s going to look like.

I could hear my friend Darrell saying, “Man, this is Kingdom Stuff!”

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