Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Kingdom of God...

Much has been written through the years regarding the Kingdom of God. One of my favorite definitions is from Dallas Willard, who says, "God's own Kingdom or rule is the range of His effective will, where what He wants done is done." My favorite stories describing the Kingdom are from Jesus' parables in the New Testament. I was just reading this morning in Matthew 13, where Jesus compared the Kingdom to 1) a man who went out to sow good seed, 2) a mustard seed, 3) yeast in the dough, 4) a hidden treasure, 5) a pearl of great value and 6) a net let down into the lake to catch all kinds of fish. What I gathered once again from these stories is that God's Kingdom is one of great value to those who find it (the hidden treasure and pearl). Also, His Kingdom is a Kingdom of growth in those who are called to participate in it (the mustard seed and yeast). Furthermore, there is and will be a coming harvest and judgment in relation to where a person stands in regard to the Kingdom (the parable of the weeds and net).

While I was raised in a culture which interprets these parables more along the lines of the individual and his/her personal response, I wonder if Jesus isn't saying as much about communities as He is individuals. I can easily understand what "God's own Kingdom and rule" looks like in my life, but what would it look like in a transformed community? What would a true community of God look like where His effective will is prevalent? What would our community look like if it were a place where what God wants done is done?

Francis Fragipane wrote: "This, my friends, is the glorious mystery of our existence! The Almighty has purposed from eternity to create a race of men, who, though tested in a corrupt and violent world, bear the image and likeness of Christ." Wouldn't that be something to see?

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