The Inbreaking of the Kingdom by Kim Reisman
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15, NKJV)
Over the last few months, we’ve talked about discovering our created purpose and the way we fit into God’s overall kingdom work. As we finish out this year, I want to encourage you to lock onto that purpose and begin making stronger and stronger connections between your faith and the activities of your daily life.
One of my favorite movies is the now classic, Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones. Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, is “inspired by a voice he can’t ignore to pursue a dream he can hardly believe.”  Despite the fact that everyone thinks he’s crazy and his banker brother-in-law is threatening to foreclose on his farm, Ray builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield in Iowa. He can see something breaking into the ordinary reality of life; he doesn’t know exactly what it is, but he trusts his inner feeling and moves forward anyway. He is locked on to his dream. As the movie unfolds, we discover the reality that there is something incredibly special about Ray’s baseball field in the middle of Iowa – it draws baseball legends from long ago to play, a reality that can be seen and experienced by people who trust and believe in the larger vision. We also discover that the distractions of the world prevent other people from seeing the larger vision; and because they allow themselves to be distracted, they miss out on an amazing experience.
The good news of Jesus Christ is that the kingdom of God is here among us. The mystery is that while the kingdom of God is here, it’s also not yet here. The good news is that the kingdom of God is visible. The mystery is that while the kingdom of God is visible, we see it as though we’re looking through a dim mirror. Ray doesn’t know why he’s building a baseball field; he just knows he has to do it. The reason starts to become clear: People will come; they will pay to come. Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones) says in an inspiring soliloquy that they will not mind paying because “it’s money they have but peace they lack.”
In a climactic scene, as Ray’s brother-in-law, who has up until now been unable to see any of the activity taking place on the field, is arguing with him about giving it all up, trying to convince him to sign papers to sell the farm and avoid foreclosure. But Ray realizes that he has to go through with it. He’s locked on to his dream and he’s willing to risk foreclosure in order to see it through. As they argue, Ray’s young daughter loses her balance and falls from the top seat of the bleachers. The ensuing crisis and resulting interaction with the baseball players changes the entire dynamic. When it is clear that the young girl will be fine, Ray’s brother-in-law suddenly looks around and asks, “When did all these baseball players get here?”
God desires that God’s kingdom come soon. God yearns for the “not yet” of God’s kingdom to become fully realized and wants us to be part of the plan to make it happen. When we begin making strong connections between our faith and our daily life, when we recognize our created purpose and enter into partnership with God in moving toward that purpose, we enter into God’s kingdom work. When we become an active part of that plan, God’s kingdom unexpectedly bursts into our consciences – when did all these baseball players get here? Suddenly we can see that God’s kingdom is here, it is among us, and we are part of it, experiencing it and making it happen in partnership with God.
This month we will celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the beginning of the inbreaking of God’s kingdom. As we move toward that celebration, I pray you would reflect on the ways you have experienced God’s kingdom breaking into your world. Reflect as well on the ways God’s kingdom remains hidden or “not yet.” Are you struggling to see the reality of God’s kingdom? What is distracting you from seeing? I pray that you would be alert to the ways God is working around you and through you to make God’s kingdom come on earth and that you would lock on to the ways in which you can be an active part of God’s overall kingdom work.
 Video Jacket promotion, Field of Dreams, A Gordon Company Production, MCA/Universal Home Video, 1989.