THY KINGDOM COME
We pray “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If, as Christians, we are to live as signs of God’s kingdom has come, then we are to measure our behavior against kingdom standards.
Having spent almost 50 years as an ordained pastor and over 75 years in the Christian church, I have concluded that one major anti-kingdom behavior that occurs regularly in the church is the habit of whining. Yes, I know it happens in the larger society as well, but that is not my concern here.
Seriously, can you imagine people whining in the Kingdom of God? Now try to picture a church community in which no one whines either out loud or inside themselves.
FORMING A HABIT
I’m told that it takes twenty-nine days to form a habit. If you are reading this on March 10th, you have more than twenty-nine days to engage in forming a new habit that will prepare you for living the Resurrection Life. I propose that a significant gift you could offer to the glory of God and in celebration of Christ’s resurrection life would be to form the habit of not whining.
At first you may think that is a small thing, but think about it. Whining is a negative force that is destructive of community and your own person-hood. And the challenge to STOP WHINING is not an easy task. To be clear, I’m not just talking about whining out loud but also whining in your mind as well. Think how often you whine inside yourself and how it affects your spirit as you go throughout the day. Picture the impact on your spirit as well as your relationships if you stopped whining.
THE NO WHINING CHALLENGE
What if you challenged the whole church to join you in forming a no whining habit. Since everyone will fail in their efforts from time to time, create a form of penance when you slip. Whenever you catch yourself whining in thought or deed, do two things in penance.
First, date and mark it down on a card. Later you might want a church gathering where people can laugh as they confess together.
Second, determine to do two good deeds either on behalf of another person or the church.
AN EASTER CELEBRATION
On Easter, include a litany of celebration that both recognizes
Grace where we have slipped and
Thanksgiving for what we have learned about living in the Kingdom.