The Inbreaking Kingdom

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I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart,    I’m writing the book on your wonders.I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy;    I’m singing your song, High God.  Psalm 9:1-2A miserable heart means a miserable life;    a cheerful heart fills the day with song.  Proverbs 15:15

Every weekday morning I roll out of bed and walk over to the local community centre where I swim.  For three months now this has been my faithful routine, and though I can't always say I'm happy about going, I am always happy that I went.  

One of the things I appreciate about my daily swims is the fact that I see the same regulars each day.  My many pool companions are lovely people.  We laugh at each other when the pool is too cold and the water temperature shocks us. We giggle when we run into each other while doing laps. (Backstroke is a risk each time!). We wave hellos and good-byes. And we notice when someone isn't there. This ecclectic group of people is a place of community - and I love being there.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the locker room after my swim, preparing to head home.  There were women scattered around and little bits of chatter could be heard here and there. I wasn't really paying attention to anyone or anything, I was already lost in the thoughts of my upcoming day, when suddenly my ears perked up.  I listened intently because I wasn't sure if I was just imagining it. I wasn't - it was definitely what I thought it was.

It was someone humming in another section of the locker room. And it was clear as day. Notes I have known since childhood. 

"O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God; to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God; to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!"

This melody is so ingrained in my being that I couldn't help but begin to smile and hum along.  The volume steadily increased. A few more voices joined in. And in the echo of that locker room God's presence was known as an impromptu choir joined in song.

I walked home that day in awe of how God works. I simply delighted in the ways that his Kingdom comes.  This one moment in a community centre locker room reminded me that God's Kingdom breaks through. Light overcomes the darkness.  He is reigning.  All creation proclaims his glory.

A single small song hummed reminded me of how great God is.  Truly. Even over my busy schedule and long to-do list - which were quickly forgotten as I dwelt on this simply spectacular moment.

Perhaps you've had these moments too.  Times that stand as a testimony of the inbreaking of the Kingdom.  A reminder that God is good. He is present. He is powerful. And he is coming again.

Where have you witnessed God's presence in a surprising way?

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Thanks, Melissa--really inspiring! 

Here's my experience. Our son, a jazz bassist, got a quartet together and performed a delightful jazz vespers worship service at our church (First CRC, Salt Lake City) a few weeks ago. The quartet had piano/keyboard/Hammon B3 organ, guitar, drums and his bass. His final number, an old, upbeat gospel song, was rolling along nicely with the four instruments when, utterly unannounced, we all began hearing a saxaphone somewhere in the sanctuary! Heads turned (including mine) to see the horn player swinging his way down the center aisle from the back. Then when he was near the front, a trumpet began sounding out from the rear; then (you guessed it) there was a trombonist following him down the aisle; finally a clarinetist came swinging and swaying his way to the front where they continued in a crescendo of dixieland, raise-the-roof praise! Of course this brought the house down: we were all on our feet clapping and dancing along and, as one elderly Dutch woman said, "I thought 'Oh, we're in New Orleans now!'" The flash mob effect had worked its wonder of surprise and joyous beauty in this moment of Kingdom ecstasy. It made an indellible mark on my soul with a heaven-sent memory I'll never forget--and I'm surely not alone in this!  

I got goose bumps reading this! :)  God is GOOD! 

Great story David!!  Music coming not as performance for the group, but from within the group, from within the person! 

Melissa, your song is great too!  O Lord my God!   In awesome wonder sings my soul!   We sing this one often.  Really nice when you can sing it "out of the church building"  and spontaneously! 

Thanks John! :)  It was a profound and delightfully unexpected moment!