Playing in the Kingdom of Heaven

My word for 2021 is play.

One of the ways that we live in the Kingdom of God is to play in the Kingdom of God.
G. K. Chesterton, “The true object of all human life is play.  To be at last in such secure innocence that one can juggle with the universe and the stars, to be so good that one can treat everything as a joke--that may be, perhaps, the real end and final holiday of human souls.”

Think about it.  When does a football player really get to play?  It’s after he has memorized the playbook and no longer has to have that anxiety that he’s going to forget a route.  When does a musician really get to play?  It’s when she has mastered the instrument and the scales - then she has the freedom to use everything that that instrument can offer.  

It’s the same principal in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 19:14, 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

What does it mean for something to “belong to you?”  It means to possess it, own, have the rights to it, hold the deed, to have it.  Little children certainly didn’t do any of that in order to have it.  It belongs to them because Jesus says it belongs to them.  Only a child would feel that freedom to play with God there.  When we see these kids running around the church a phrase we could use it, “They walked in here like they own the place.”  That’s it!  Perhaps we need to treat God’s kingdom like we “own the place.”  Run around and enjoy it!  Why?  Jesus tells us that that’s ok!  “It belongs to such as these.

So, we must become like “these.”

Matthew 18:2-3,2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

This one gets a little harsher, it’s the “ying” to the “yang” of the last verse scripture we looked at.  If you do not change…and become….you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

In our family, one of our children is adopted.  I don’t want him to approach our house, possessions, or relationships differently than our biological children.  I want him to know that he is completely in our “Boyd Kingdom.”  Just like the rest of the family.  And how did we bring him into our “kingdom” or family?  We played with him.  Mom and dad played with him.  Brothers and sisters played with him.  Whether a child is adopted or biological - we play with them to introduce them into our family or kingdom.    And it works BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE WOULD.  Simple play was the best way to establish the relationship.  That’s incredible.

The kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who will play.

Play is how we learn.  There are two types of responses to purchasing a new gadget.  Which of course we always call it “a new toy.”  You either read the instructions or you “play with it” to figure out how it works.  Play may be your missing piece to understanding your place in God’s Kingdom which is here right now.
Play is foundational to relationships

There are different types of play, physical, alone, fantasy, etc.
Think about the friends that you have….you all play.  Without play you, probably aren’t friends.  You’re acquaintances, work associates, etc.

Toddlers show us, lead us, to see that the greatest thing you can do with someone is to play with them.  Play is the greatest thing that can come from relationship.
God lives like this in the Trinity.

John 17:21 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me
May they be one like we are one

We are invited into the three persons of God

The God Who Plays, “This mysterious, wonderful participation between God and humanity is a consequence of the coming together of the divine in the person of Jesus Christ and through the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world today…Indeed, all dance and play arises from a human longing for community and joy, that in the end, are truly found only in God and so the final, eschatological kingdom of God is well expressed as a time of great joy and intimacy, of singing, dancing, and play.”

How do we play with God?  Well, there’s a few ways.  But this is a question you have to work on for yourself

Hobbies for the sake of joy

Playing with kids.  Volunteer in the children’s ministry or student ministry in 2021

Enjoying the good things He has given us and leaning on Him through the tough times

How is this accomplished?  What lies at the heart of this

Simply playing in the Kingdom of God as though Jesus is your friend.

Tagged with , ,

No Comments