“Alright folks. We’ve been given the word: God’s Kingdom is to the south! Let’s get moving!”
Adventurers and explorers had gathered together in their thousands in search for the elusive Kingdom of God. Some were old and some were young, some were believers and some were not, some had experience while others were venturing abroad for the very first time. Regardless, the mood throughout the mass was consistent; they were excited, anxious, jaunty and optimistic people, all sharing the same faith: That they might find the Kingdom of God.
And so south they went, looking through every forest, every city and every area of land and sea from the extremely rural to the densely urban. Finding nothing. Not even the slightest trace of the Kingdom of God.
The congregation sat still, feeling dejected and down right disappointed. Where was this glorious Kingdom that they had been promised?
Suddenly, a loud voice called out: “Alright folks. We’ve just been given the word: God’s Kingdom is to the west! Let’s get moving!”
Renewed with hope the crowd began to move towards the west. Perhaps the Kingdom of God had relocated whilst they were searching in the south.
And so west they went, thoroughly searching every nook and every cranny. Under every rock and up every tree. Finding nothing. Not even the most inconsequential piece of evidence suggesting the Kingdom of God.
Filled with discontent, the group of travellers sat still. Yet again they had failed to find the Kingdom of God, and suspicion was beginning to spread throughout the hearts of the people.
Yet before anyone could take action, a loud voice called out once again: “Alright folks. We’ve just been given the word: God’s Kingdom is to the north! Let’s get moving!”
Encouraged by new hope, they gathered their equipment, rationed their supplies and made their way in pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
And so north they went, investigating every cave and chasm. Exploring every hill and valley. Finding nothing. Not even a whisper of the Kingdom of God.
Deflated from their fruitless efforts, the band of adventurers once again sat still. They wondered amongst themselves why their hard work wasn’t paying off. Surely they deserved some recompense for their devotion?
Again, a loud voice called out: “Alright folks. We’ve just been given the word: God’s Kingdom is to the east! Let’s get moving!”
Summoning up their remaining strength, they collected their belongings and confidently set off, once again, to track down the Kingdom of God. In their minds they knew, without a doubt, this time they would be triumphant!
And so east they went, surveying every mountain and assessing every river. Consulting every person with every kind of tongue. Finding nothing. Not even a miniscule fragment of the Kingdom of God.
Now the group had come to a complete halt. Fed up with their evidently pointless endeavour. Many of them were planning to stir up a riot in rebellion against their meaningless expedition. And as tension began to mount, an elderly woman, who was just passing by, called out to the masses of people.
“What’s all the hullabaloo?” she enquired.
“We’ve been searching high and low, and far and wide; for the Kingdom of God. Yet our exploration has been for nothing! We have not found any remote indication the Kingdom of God and so we are going to start a riot!” was their response.
“Foolish people,” the old lady boldly began “don’t you know that God’s Kingdom is not something that can be found. For it is written: ‘…if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.’ Therefore, when the His Kingdom comes, you will surely know that it is here!”
At this the old woman walked away, leaving them to dwell on her words in hope that they might find sense in its wisdom.
No sooner than she disappeared out of sight, a loud voice called out: “Alright folks. We’ve just been given the word: God’s Kingdom is to the north-west! Let’s get moving!”
And so north-west they went…
Matthew 24 : 26-27 (NIV)
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