With Some friends on Monday over coffee and conversation, someone asked " What is the Kingdom?" I told him, that I've come to view it as an open door into a new way of living. I awaken every morning and I can make the conscious decision of living in the Kingdom...or I can settle for something far less.
We can get out our texts, and try and reduce the Kingdom to some theological construct, like a riddle to be solved. But it's like the truth of the parables, where we find truth as more mystery than certitude. We can only discover truth when we live out the profound fullness of the parables in every day moments in " real" time. It's lived in the reaction chamber of everyday life, the bumping, the mixing, the shaking and the grinding. It's moving in the fluidity of life, the mixing together of everything. It's in the interactions, and the connections that we can make the Kingdom tangible in action and word. It's the reality we can build it, like planting mustard seeds in the fertile ground of life. Really, if it can't be lived what good is it's truth.
The Kingdom is to realize there is a " King ". A King to which I, we swear our allegiance. As Paul proclaims to the Galatians...
Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. ( Eugene Peterson's The Message )
This is an allegiance at the deepest, and most profound level...it is my prayer, that to see me, is to see the King. It is a life altering, life changing experience. It's as if some repressed gene from the embryonic origin of all that exists, as been switched " on ". I am a new person. And to live in the Kingdom is to live out the truth and reality of the gospels, it is the real map in which I navigate through life. It's a mysterious topographical map I drape over my daily living. A template, not rigid. But, fluid, flexible, elastic. If I have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, I will see and hear the characters of the gospels come to life around me. I will see myself with in the mystery of it's landscape, and in the world around me. And we navigate the topography of life with in the grid lines of the gospels by this internal GPS, the spirit of God will guide us into the truth of Jesus. This is the real truth, the full meal deal...not doctrine, dogma, church rules...it is the Word made flesh. Not a whole lot of reading, or fine print...just follow the living word across the landscape of life, period! Somehow, how ever profound and mysterious the truth of the Kingdom is found in the grid lines of the gospels.The Kingdom is living in the reality that we are reconciling agents of God. Living reconciled in the Kingdom, is to discover the height, depth and breadth of the love of God.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
The Kingdom is as near as you want it to be. You can awaken each and every day choosing to live in the Kingdom...or you can choose to live something far less. Faith is not a life of pursuing truth, or answers. Jesus did not announce ideas or call people to ascribe to a certain set of beliefs as much as he invited humanity to follow him into a new way living...to live in the reality of the Kingdom.