Friday, 22 July 2011

The Kingdom of God is like this ....

Watching and listening to the news day by day can bring complete despair. The duplicity and amorality of people in places of influence is so astounding. How far we have moved from God's will for our lives! But it need not be like this. As Christians we have a duty (and a joy!) to bring a different perspecitve to the world. The following extract sums it up for me:

(We have) an invitation to come under God's rule, and learn its ways. Just as when a person moves to another country, and has to learn its different laws, language, culture, history and customs, becoming a Christian means entering a new world.

It means repenting of my failure to acknowledge God's rightful rule over the world. It means rejecting any other claim to control or wield ultimate authority in the world. It means believing that in Jesus Christ, God has set up his rule on earth and, through the cross, has made forgiveness for that rejection possible, so that the kingdom of God is open even to rebels and sinners like me (and them!).

It means enjoying the benefits of life under God's just and gentle rule. It means learning the language and values of that kingdom, accepting the discipline and change involved in bringing our lives under God's rule. It means acknowledging God as King and Jesus as Lord both of my own life and of the whole of creation.

It means learning to treat others with the dignity they deserve as precious children, made in the image of God.
Along with the rest of the community of Jesus, it involves showing the rest of the world what life looks like under God's rule, what a society could look like, how the environment is treated and how people are valued when God is in charge.
(Quoted from "The Provocative Church" by Graham Tomlin; pub SPCK; ISBN 0-281-05476-2)

(Words in italics in brackets are mine!)

Do we not just thirst for such a community?

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

(Jill Jackson / Mark Miller) - circa 1955

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