I’m Back … to talk about the Kingdom of God…

Ok. So i’ve been busy, and I disappeared for a while. But a friend of mine challenged me to blog my thoughts as I begin a new sermon series on the Kingdom of God. It really isn’t a series, which presupposes a certain number of weeks that I will preach on the central theme of the Kingdom of God. This is the problem with that assumption: the Kingdom is much much more than a few weeks worth of sermons.

The Kingdom of God is .. is … well, it is everything. It is how we read a passage of scripture, how we hear a sermon, how we understand “God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”:  how we love our kids, how we treat our next door neighbors that don’t like our kids; it is why … why we do scripture instead of just read scripture, why we are less concerned with backpocket fire insurance than the homeless shelter that caught fire;  why we go to church on Sundays at 10AM, why we serve the littlest people instead of the richest, why we get up in the middle of the night to pray, why we go apologize to our spouses when it their bad attitude :), why we take the last snowcone instead of the first … and it is what:   what we do with our money, what we do with our time, what we do with our words http://kyammatalk.blogspot.com/2009/09/moment-in-life.html … THAT right there is the the Kingdom of God.

On my search for reading up on the Kingdom, I pulled a book from my shelf that I read 22 years ago for a college gen. ed. class at Messiah College. I was barely a christian, and understood a nigh crumb about Jesus, let alone the Kingdom. Now, I read the book and my soul is filled … the Kingdom of God is here, the Kingdom of God is definitely The Upside-Down Kingdom (Kraybill, 1978 rev 2003, Herald Press) when held up against the Kingdom of Earth. Tell me what you think:

The corporate life of the people of God will be visible and practical. We are the folks who engage in conspicuous sharing. We practice Jubliee. Generosity replaces consumption and accumulation. Our faith wags our pocketbooks. We give without expecting a return. We forgive liberally as God forgave us. We overlook the signs of stigma hanging on the unlovely. Genuine compassion for the poor and destitute moves us. We look and move down the ladder. We don’t take our own religious structure too seriously because we know Jesus is Lord and Master of religious custom. We serve rather than dominate. We invite rather than coerce.

Love replaces hate among us. Shalom overcomes revenege. We love even enemies. Basins replace swords in our society. We share power, love assertively, and make peace. We flatten hierarchies and behave like children. Compassion replaces personal ambition among us. Equality overshadows competition and achievement. Obedience to Jesus blots out worldly charm. Servant structures replace rigid bureaucracies. We call each other by our first name, for we have one Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…

Generosity, jubilee, mercy, and compassion–these are the marks of the new community. Freed from the grip of right-sided up kingdoms, we salute a new King and sing a new song. We transcend earthly borders, boundaries, and passports. We pledge allegiance to a new and already-present kingdom…

We live in a future already bursting upon us. We’re the ones who turn the world upside down because we know there is another King names Jesus … we welcome the reign of God in our corporate lives each day.

Wowza. That is the Good News of the Kingdom of God…