I welcomed the chance recently to dig around and ask the question "what (actually) is the Kingdom of God?" It’s so central to the gospel, but if we had to answer a quiz about it, what would we say? Here are five things.
It's wrapped up with the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus and him sending the Holy Spirit. His death fixed things up between sinners and God. His resurrection was the first drop of new wine into the old wineskins of the world, and it broke a tomb. His Ascension was his coronation. Sending the Spirit to revolutionize human lives was his first act in office. The Kingdom of God is Christ’s rule being exercised on earth.
It's now and not yet. It's breaking in among but this is just the first installment. The rest is yet to come. So we enjoy peace now which is an appetizer for the peace that will break over the whole world at the end the age.
It's internal and external. It's about holy lives and social justice. It weaves together the quietist and the activist strands of the Christian faith.
It grows. Like a mustard seed or yeast, tiny but resolute, it can be poisoned, stamped out, wiped out, set back, but it keeps coming.
It comes in and through weakness. Hence the Beatitudes: 'Happy are you who are spiritually bankrupt.'
Photo: Nghia Le