Last week I was on a train and a young child was talking very loudly with his dad. He asked when he would visit Pakistan. 10 years came the gentle reply. The little boy couldn’t work out that time frame and asked if it was a long or a short time away. His dad patiently explained it was a long time away and carefully explained that Pakistan was very very far away, so they couldn’t pop over to visit on the train.
The boy was silent for a while and pondered this news. “So why don’t you move Pakistan nearer?!” He innocently asked holding up both hands indicating a short gap between the two.
It was a humorous conversation and as I was inwardly chuckling I felt God, my heavenly Daddy, whisper gently to me what he thought of their conversation.
“That’s what the kingdom of heaven is like… It’s brought near, right now.”
This reminded me that I’ve actually seen this happen time and time again. Hopeless addicts set free, people healed of impossible situations.
The most dramatic has been when I’ve seen it first hand when followers of Jesus use what they’ve got and bring the generous world of the heavenly kingdom right here on earth.
Let me explain what I mean by this. Have you ever had your portrait painted or perhaps you’ve tried to capture someone’s likeness.
Recently The Light Project lighthouse cafe and Light Project Peterborough worked alongside Epiphany music ensemble. They sought to ‘capture people’s’ portraits through music. An act that reminded people that they are known and loved by the One who knows and loves them.
Here are some of the scenes I captured on the streets and in the pub:
The experience reminded me of what that little boy on the train asked his dad, as well as the teaching that Jesus brought when he said ‘the Kingdom of heaven is near!’
Having the most gifted concert hall musicians perform over people in Wethespoons pub for free rather than bow tied ticket paying audiences reminded me what heaven is like. It’s lavish and it’s here, it’s strangely other worldly yet belongs to this world, as it should be.
People were deeply impacted by the sound portraits and a couple of months after, people are still talking about the experience and conversations have developed as some regulars have spoken to me about experiencing something they hadn’t before, but couldn’t quite fathom what it was!
How will you use what you’ve got to bring heaven to earth?
More information about Epiphany can be found by clicking here.