For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.(Romans 14:17 NRSV)
Jesus had a image for the world, a picture of how life is intended to be. Jesus saw a world where God ruled in every heart--a world of righteousness, peace and justice. A world of love and harmony and unity. Every once in a while we catch a glimpse of that kingdom.
During the Welsh Revivals of the nineteenth century, as people sought the filling of the Spirit, they did all they could to confess wrongdoings and to make restitution. This unexpectedly created severe problems for the shipyards along the coast of Wales. Over the years workers had pilfered all kinds of things. Everything from wheelbarrows to hammers had been stolen. However, as people sought to be right with God they started to return what they had taken, with the result that soon the shipyards of Wales were overwhelmed with returned property. There were such huge piles of returned tools that several of the yards had to put up signs that read, IF YOU HAVE BEEN LED BY GOD TO RETURN WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN, PLEASE KNOW THAT THE MANAGEMENT FORGIVES YOU AND WISHES YOU TO KEEP WHAT YOU HAVE TAKEN.
May we catch a glimpse of the kingdom by seeking forgiveness and making restitution.
Dear God, I need your forgiveness and help me to be reconciled to those I have hurt. Amen.
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