Words of Hope: The Kingdom of God is Now
I was praying about what to write in Words of Hope and I kept feeling asked to write the Kingdom of God is now. If I talked to Dad, he would ask, “Why do you think you are feeling asked to write the Kingdom of God is now?” Perhaps it is because I am listening to the Ancient Rome: the Rise and Fall of an Empire, as well as reading In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. In the latter book, Eco describes priests so fraught with worry about end times, their anxieties and suspicious judgment bring greater evil into the world than love and peace. Both books are about control, power, dominance, and cruelty done in the name of future security. As I consider this, I can feel my own concerns as we navigate this current political landscape. I hear the intimidation promulgated through our news channels and social media and even the mouths of our pastors to seize control, power, and dominance. I see people choosing to tolerate violence for the sake of maintaining worldview and cultural privilege. What should be preserved, what is worth fighting for, where is the line between my will and God’s will?
Dad and I would meditate and discuss what does the “Kingdom of God is Now” mean in practical terms. How do we live this right now? He would instruct to head to Matthew 5. Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek—they will inherit the earth.” This statement is as crazy sounding now as it must have sounded when Jesus said it on the mountainside. Meek means patient restraint. What is happening in my neighborhood and community that requires me to patiently restrain? I saw a social media post of a community service meeting that ended in shouting, rage, name-calling, and hatred right here in Spokane. Shann calls this time in history the age of enragement. Dad would ask how quick I am to pull the trigger of anger, rage, verbal violence to get my way? Jesus goes on to say, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” Do my actions as a peacemaker define me as a child of God? This is my prayer for myself and for those who claim the title of Christian. The Kingdom of God is now and requires me to live accordingly.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
– Matthew 5: 5-9