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The coming kingdom.

Something to read

No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days.

- Isaiah 65:20 from full reading Isaiah 65:17-21.

Something to think about

Never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days.

When I was 18 years old, I went to Zambia for ten months between school and university. I lived in a Bible college, worked with local churches and got involved in the local community – which included helping at an orphanage once a week. It was good fun – an abundance of ‘duck, duck, goose’, mushed up bananas for snack time and holding kids hands! A bright place full of smiles and laughter. But also a place of pain and sadness. Little Jenny so malnourished and afraid who turned a corner and made progress, only to die of TB a week later. Lovely Twambo born with disabilities, but with no-one caring for him who knew how to meet his complex needs – and who died well before his time also because of disease.

Never again will there be an infant who lives but a few days.

If the above stories from Zambia are not particularly unique, how can we reconcile these words from the book of the prophet Isaiah to the global reality?

The prophet is speaking of the coming kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth and painting us a picture of what that will be like – and what a description to consider! A place of newness, of delighting, a place of joy. Rather, than looking at the global reality of poverty, and questioning God’s goodness – it motivates me to look forward to this coming kingdom. It motivates me to live well in this place of tension between ‘the now and the not yet’.

Rather than come home from my time in Zambia disillusioned with pain and poverty, I came home more convinced of the goodness of God – often expressed through His people who worked tirelessly to display His love and compassion in the midst of desperate circumstances. I came home convinced that I wanted to devote my time to reflecting this future kingdom in the here and now – a place where children will not die before their time, where people will be safe in their homes and a place where people will enjoy the fruits of their labour.

Consider today – how can I bring hints of God’s future kingdom in the here and now? There are so many options – sign Christian Aid’s climate petition, support Christian Aid Week in May or consider becoming a committed giver to Christian Aid – every month you will be standing with the most vulnerable people in the world, helping Christian Aid to be flexible, plan ahead and respond to the greatest needs.

Something to pray

Father, help us to keep hopeful despite the pain we see.

And help us to be part of reflecting Your future kingdom – where there will be joy and delight.


Today's contributor is Ruth Cooke. Ruth joined Christian Aid Ireland at the end of 2019 as Head of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement, after previously leading the NI office of another international NGO for eight years. She lives in East Belfast with her husband, Edward, son, Nathaniel, and greyhound, Rocky.