Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Luke 24:45-47


Preaching “repentance and forgiveness” – that is indeed what has happened ever since Jesus died and rose again.

I’ve been reading the Easter story and am thinking more about what happened after – the resurrection that we celebrated. What a wondrous story it is!

The world has changed so much since then. The most common way of living before Jesus’s ministry was one of pride and retaliation. Jesus’s dying and rising ushered in a new way of living for those who followed him. It ushered in God’s reign – God’s way – the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven as some parts of the Bible refer to it). The way of love and reconciliation and healing and hope has been preached ever since.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray “…your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) God’s will is being done on earth today. Don’t you see pockets of heaven all around you? I know, there’s a lot of pain and struggle and ugliness. But there are also little pockets of heaven in our community and – indeed – the whole world. People are helping the poor and the sick. They are working to protect the environment. We can all help to make such pockets of heaven happen. We can help build God’s kingdom – little by little – each of us in our own way, as we are led by God.

I can see God’s kingdom happening for people living with mental illnesses, at least in part. Although there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness, as there is for a lot of other things, there has been improvement. When my book Riding the Roller Coaster was published, there were few people with mental health issues telling their story. Today there are many books out by those who live with mental illness. Positive stories are being covered in newspapers and magazines and on TV. And look at Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries and Living Room. Those are definite kingdom builders. Can’t you see how God’s reign is getting stronger all the time?

When we were still in our house, I remembered looking out on a sunny day. So happy for it, because in our part of the world there hadn’t been much sun. Our garden didn’t look too great yet. There was a lot of cleaning up to do. But we did have two or three pockets of heaven happening: We had purple crocuses – one of my favourite colours. I experience God when I thank him for them. I worship God when I photograph them.

I pray that you too will find pockets of heaven in your life, in your work and play…and in your neighbourhood.


Jesus Christ has risen! God’s kingdom has come.



(First published in April, 2014, with a few changes made in 2018.)