They were waiting for You to conquer the world.
To heal their land.
And every passing second was one closer to their liberation.
But then You came quiet, and small, and not at all like they expected.
You didn’t wield a sword. You held out Your hands instead.
They didn’t recognize You, because You didn’t look like the opposition to Cæsar.
You looked like a carpenter.
Your friends asked You how you planned to conquer the world. How You planned to set up Your kingdom once the tyrants were overthrown.
You told them the Kingdom would look different than they expected.
Then You died. Before the kingdom even got off the ground. Before it was anything more than a ragtag bunch hoping for what seemingly no evidence had supported.
But the strangest thing happened. You didn’t stay dead.
And thus began the most subversive takeover in the history of the world.
You take our battered hands in Yours. You gently stroke our weary, tearstained faces.
You look into our eyes, though we can barely hold Yours, and tell us that You love us.
That You’ve made it all well.
That we are beautiful.
That You want us.
How can we respond but with tears of joy and bursting hearts?
How can we respond other than by giving you what You want from us — ourselves?
I think that’s really how You’ve been conquering the world — one soul at a time.
You win us over with Your gentleness and the love that outshines the sun.
Because, really, how can we say no to that?
How do we refuse the only One Who loves us in the way we crave to be loved?
You are quietly, resolutely undertaking the Great Quest, adventuring out into peril, all for the love of us.
You are adventuring to win us.
You are conquering the world, because that means winning back Your one true love.
You approach the walls of our hearts, a conquering King.
You gently knock on the rotting gate. We suspiciously peer out of the gatekeeper’s house at You.
You see us there, quivering, shaking, dying.
You extend Your hand to us.
You are asking us to come on the adventure with You.
Because You want us.
That’s how You are conquering. That’s how You are setting up Your Kingdom --
With love and compassion and grace and lots of adventure.
It looks different than we thought.
It looks better.
It transforms us from trembling cowards into fierce warriors. Princes and princesses.
It makes us what we’ve always dreamed of being but never thought we could become.
And then —
And then we get to help conquer, too.