The safe harbour where Jesus dwells

Every evening you and your family gather around the table in your kitchen for the evening meal. The entree might be some epicurean delight from the pages of Bon Appétit - but more often than not it’s Chinese takeaway or pizza from Domino’s.

As everyone eats, the table buzzes with talk of tomorrow’s soccer game, a crabby teacher, the current fix-up project, the latest office crises, and a new knock-knock joke. Here at the kitchen table, parent and child give and receive encouragement, consolation, forgiveness and love. Especially love.

If there is one safe harbour on earth, one secure, sheltered place where you are always welcome no matter how badly you mess things up, the kitchen table is it. Your kitchen -- the place where Christ rules.

A storm devastates a town; a fire reduces a neighbourhood to burnt timber and ashes; an act of terrorism cuts a wide and bloody swath through a community. That’s when they go to work: skilled medical professionals, tireless construction workers, patient and gifted counsellors, compassionate volunteers.

These dedicated souls work around the clock to care for the hurt and injured, rescue those in danger, help the traumatised cope, and begin the hard work of rebuilding. By their very presence, these good people transform the debris and ashes into the kingdom of Jesus.

The tired old inner city building has seen better days but no better use. The city’s churches have worked together to turn the brick structure into a community centre, a safe place where children can come to play basketball, receive tutoring, or just hang out after school.

The well-stocked pantry provides for dozens of hungry families every week; a free clinic offers basic on-site medical care and referral services for the poor and uninsured. Its meeting rooms are always busy: the elderly have a place to go for companionship and immigrants are taught how to master the language of their new homeland. In this austere brick building, Jesus reigns.

The kingdom of Jesus is not found in the world’s centres of power but within human hearts; it is built not by deals among the power elite but by compassionate hands; Christ reigns neither by influence nor wealth but by generosity and justice. A politician and influential figure like Pilate cannot grasp the “kingship” of Jesus - but we who have been baptised in the life, death and resurrection of Christ are called to build and maintain that kingdom in our own time and place.

Christ’s reign is realised only in our embracing a vision of humankind as a family made in the image of God, a vision of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, a vision of the world centred in the spirit of hope and compassion taught by Christ.

– Dr John Frauenfelder. CSO Broken Bay 

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