Today’s Reading: John 18:36(NIV)
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
On New Year’s Day, I sat on a pillow on the floor in my granddaughter’s bedroom. Her room is upstairs, and the view from her window overlooks the street where she lives. On a clear day, one can see the circle drive at the end of her street, and, if you look in the opposite direction, you can see where her street merges with the main thoroughfare that runs the length of the subdivision. Emily sat next to me, on her very own pillow, with legs crossed Indian style. She wore a shiny tiara upon her head. We sipped hot tea in our pajamas and enjoyed a slice of warm, delicious strawberry cake, while admiring the new tea set that she had received as a Christmas present.
A beautiful transformation occurs every time I enjoy a cup of hot tea. I think of all the many tea parties I have had in my life, and the places where I’ve been while enjoying this delicious taste treat. Tea was a big deal where I grew up. We enjoyed a glass of iced tea almost every night for supper after we drank our milk. In the winter time, hot tea was a welcomed treat after playing outside in the snow. We enjoyed watching the cubed sugars melt away in our teacups. The tea party is a timeless tradition, and one I have never quite grown out of. I have several tea sets in my home today, and enjoy sipping hot tea from a special cup while sitting in front of the fire place every weekend. If you come to visit me, I will be sure to brew a pot of hot tea just for you.
Emily went on and on about a young man in her preschool class. “Nanny,” she said, “Benjie Barlow is my best boyfriend and he will be my best boyfriend forever.” With furrowed eyebrows, I looked at my four year old granddaughter and asked, “So, you plan to marry this Benjie?” “Oh no, Nanny!” Emily was emphatic. “And why not?” I asked, taking another sip of the hot tea. “No babies, Nanny. I do not want to have any babies.” Somehow, I found that hard to believe as Emily clutched her brand new baby doll underneath her arm. “But, Emily,” I said, “I’m hoping one day to be a great grandmother.” “Silly, Nanny, you are a GREAT grandmother.” Emily’s words didn’t skip a beat. I find it amazing how a little child can melt the heart of a grandmother with one simple sentence. For one brief, fleeting moment, my mind was suspended in time, seeing what could possibly be in twenty-five years or so. I was dreaming of the life my Emily might have in a world where I would either be much older or have passed on to my eternal home. Emily reminded me that true greatness does not necessarily come through the passing of generations, but it exists in the here and now. For a four year old, my granddaughter borders brilliance, don’t you think?
Pilate asked Jesus a question, and Jesus answered him directly. His kingdom is not of this world, but of the world to come. What we see in Him now, is only a mirrored reflection of the magnificence He will be in our eternal home. What a tea party we have to look forward to, when Jesus takes His place at the right hand of the Father forevermore. Come and dream with me as we imagine how great our forever will be in the awesome presence of our Savior and King.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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