The Sacrament of the Present Moment

“[W]e grow in our knowledge of Christ-with-us by, first of all, constant expectation of him in the place where we are, wherever that may be. ‘The sacrament of the present moment,’ as it is sometimes called, is from the human side nothing but the invocation, expectation, and receptivity of God’s presence and activity where we are and in what we are doing at any given time. Then we steadily grow in graceful interactions with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They gradually take up all of our life into their trinitarian life (John 17:21–24).

Among the many misunderstandings Jesus had to counteract in his teaching was the one that held the kingdom to be some gigantic event in some special place. This was human thinking about human kingdoms, which always fit that description. He was constantly faced with people who wanted to know when the kingdom of God was coming. When is the big commotion? He patiently replied that the kingdom of God was not that kind of thing. It was simply God reigning, governing. It is not a special event you could see happening over here or possibly over there. ‘Now look,’ he said, ‘the kingdom of God is right here among you’ (Luke 17:20–21, paraphrase). His main sermon line was: ‘Get a new thought! The kingdom of the heavens is available to you from right where you are!’ (Matt. 4:17, paraphrase).

from Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge by Dallas Willard

One of the greatest temptations in the spiritual life is to always be expecting God’s activity, but in some undefined future setting. I love the idea of the sacrament of the present moment, that the kingdom of God is here and now because God is actively working here and now.

Where you are right now is where God wants you to be and where God wants to use you in this very moment. And God specializes in using people just like you.

 

 

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