Lent 8 - The modern-day Kingdom of God
Jesus often spoke about the Kingdom of God.
While I still believe that this phrase is a beautiful phrase to describe God's reign on earth, it can sometimes get lost in translation.
We need to remember that when Jesus termed this phrase, he was addressing a very different context to what we live in today. The people of Jesus' time were living under the rule of the mighty Roman Empire. They were very familiar with what a Kingdom looked like and what values were important to a worldly kingdom. Therefore, when Jesus spoke about this new Kingdom of love, joy, peace and hope, the people would have immediately noticed the stark differences between the Kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God.
So this got me thinking... If Jesus was born into humanity today, what phrase would he use to describe the Kingdom of God so that today's generation would better understand what he was talking about?
Maybe, because of our fascination with consumerism and always wanting more, he would talk about the Enterprise of God. Perhaps, because of our obsession with sports teams, social media influencers and celebrities, he would talk about the Fandom of God.
Whatever metaphor Jesus would have used today, one thing is for sure: Jesus would have shown us that God's way is different from the ways of the world. The things that God cherishes are different from the things that the world cherishes.
This is the exact reason why I am so weary of churches and pastors that preach a prosperity gospel and fly around to their various mansions in private jets. Is this lifestyle not too similar to what the world declares as good and successful? Would Jesus be found with these groups of people?
If Jesus came and addressed you today, how would he encourage you to see your world differently than you currently do?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You came and flipped our understanding of the world on its head. When we desired a King, You showed us how to be servants to all. When we desired wealth and prosperity, You showed us how to care for the most vulnerable, poor and oppressed. When we desired fame and fortune, you showed us how to humble ourselves so that others may be exalted. Thank You for Your example, Lord. Empower us to follow the ways of God, even when the ways of the world seem more tempting. Amen.
Image Source: Ryoji Iwata