No Milkbone here!
Wednesday, February  9, 2000

   "Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!"
    -- Habakkuk 2:9, New International Version

   One of Norm's famous lines in the sitcom of Cheers was "Sam, we live in a dog-eat-dog world and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"  I think of that statement and I laugh, but in reality, I believe it to be sad.  Over and over in the Gospels, Jesus is asked about the Kingdom of God.  It seems they too felt like they were living in a dog-eat-dog world.  They wanted to know about whether or not it was ever going to get better and what this new world was going to look like.  Jesus' response was "the Kingdom of God is within you, it is around you and it is to come."  Good answer huh?
    Hear the Good News, that the Kingdom of God is within you, it is around you and it is to come means it is where Christ is Lord of our heart and soul.  The Kingdom of God is where God reigns.  In the here and now, in all you are about to do and when Christ comes back in final victory.  Therefore, realize you are not wearing milkbone underwear, rather, you re wearing Christ all over you, and within you, giving you all peace, so you might go out and change the world.
    Be a part of the building of this realm, this realm built by peace, justice and love, but most importantly, Christ's presence!
   Gracious, almighty, and righteous God, please strengthen me so that I can resist the temptation to exploit, cheat, and lie to get ahead.  Dear Father, I truly want to be a person of integrity, character, and blessing.  Please help me to love all I meet and to treat others graciously, just as you have so graciously treated me.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.