The prison of ‘everyday’

The most basic fact about human life is ‘everyday.’ Everything we experience, know or hope is in the context of everyday. As the philosophers Kant and  Heidegger saw human life, we cannot get beyond our ideas about our world because our language is inextricably trapped in metaphors tied to everyday. But Jesus says that we are not of this world. He must have meant that there is a way to escape the ‘prison’ of everyday.

Jesus pointed out that the kingdom of God is at hand, as near to us as everyday life. He used ordinary metaphors from everyday experience to say what God’s presence is like — a pearl of great price for example. He also used metaphors to tell us how to find the kingdom — the woman who loses a single coin and searches diligently until she finds it. He also described our attitude as we search with another metaphor — we must be like ‘little children,’ innocently sees things with fresh eyes.

Once all this ‘clicks’ with us, through grace and the gift of faith, and we begin to experience intimations about the presence of the kingdom, we face another challenge. What is our response? How do we see the world and the kingdom, and act as if we are ‘already but not yet completely’ living in God’s kingdom?

One way of viewing church is as a way of expanding our everyday metaphors about life and learning with others how to live in the kingdom while surrounded by the world. And one way of deciding whether our church community is helping us meet this challenge or not is to have conversations often with believers, about how they experience the kingdom and how they live outside the ‘prison of everyday.’ If you feel that your church isn’t helping you with this challenge, that may be  a hint that you are being called to become a Change Agent and transform your local church.

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