The Kingdom Of Heaven Is This Close

By Ken Woodley

Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
How near?
As close as you and I.
And as far away.
The social and political environment created by COVID-19 has amplified the voices of those who want to divide us according to such meaningless differences as race, gender, sexual identification, and theology.
Voices that deny our shared humanity, our brotherhood and sisterhood across any and every human-made border.
The egotistical thirst for power is generally behind the allegiance to divisive falsehoods and the desire to have them believed.
The pandemic also amplifies our own fears and that can make it harder to hold on to the truths that unite us.
It can keep “The Kingdom of Heaven” here on Earth, of which Jesus so often spoke, perpetually over a distant horizon and on the other side of an unending bend in our journey together.
As each day grows shorter here in the Northern Hemisphere, I strive to focus upon voices of light, healing and unity in diversity. And I thank God for servant leaders who look out at the world, rather than surrounding themselves with mirrors.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
What a profound statement. What a wondrous truth.
People from around the world read this blog. In dozens of countries. I am humbled and amazed. Your companionship keeps me going.
I am an American. You are Belgian, Ugandan, Chinese or one of so many other nationalities. But, most importantly, we are all children of a loving God.
And the Kingdom of Heaven, at least a small, vital seed of what it can become, is within each of us.
So, the Kingdom of Heaven is very, very near.
If we let it germinate. If we let it grow. If we seek and share its harvest.
We can begin by removing any barriers within us that might keep the “Kingdom of Heaven” from taking root in this world today.
Tearing down any “wall” that might stand between our compassion and those who need our healing touch.
A healing touch that might simply be a word finally spoken from deep behind the borders of our own heart.
We might not be able to change the world but we can certainly get the attention of the next person we meet. A simple smile and a kind word can go further than we think. Just consider how long a harsh word hurts. Sometimes for years.
Our world today is torn apart at so many seams. Our “stitch in time” can make a real difference for goodness.
Let’s not let the pandemic turn up the volume on voices of division.
Let’s use the environment created by COVID-19 to amplify our own voices of light and love, reaching out to each other, joining hearts and hands over and through every barrier.
Until every barrier is gone.
And only the Kingdom of Heaven remains.

9 thoughts on “The Kingdom Of Heaven Is This Close

  1. Well said, as always my friend.

    Touching up for Sunday and the Sheep/Goats parable. You give me pause, as I reflect with your words, and Jesus’ parable on the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Hope you are doing well, and staying safe — and yours, as well.

    We are curtailing Thanksgiving gathering at my sister’s this year. Much of it rests on my decision. I feel a bit uneasy being around a “wild card” nephew — mid 30’s — bipolar, who evidently is out and about with friends more than I feel safe being around right now. Karen is with me on that one.

    And I am in the throes of wrapping up details with the Pension Group as I move toward my retirement date. I leave the church as of December 31 — full-time ministry after 47+ years at it. Karen asked when I got home last evening, how I am feeling about all this. I have many — excited, looking forward to what’s next —and sad…sad in the way I am going out. Advent is an important time — and the Christmas Eve/Day services with their magnificent celebration will be missed this time.

    Blessings – and Happy Thanksgiving (virtual and otherwise) — Steve



    1. Dear Steve,
      I know you will treasure up your final moments leading up until your retirement, keeping them close to your heart, like embers of memory to warm you in the knowledge of the service you have given so many, including Jesus, my friend.
      Grace and peace,


  2. Thank You Ken for such positive words During this struggling time. Your words help me look at the positive side of my life and how Thankful I am for God’s Promises. God’s Peace. Jenny

    Sent from my iPhone



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