We have heard about the kingdom of God.
We are surrounded by the kingdoms of this world.
Which kingdom will we serve?
In our culture we encounter a variety of kingdoms. During the presidential election season in the United States, political kingdoms vie for power. The Democrats and the Republicans struggle for control. Both Trump and Clinton wield influence and strive to win. Across the world, countries strategize for superiority and strength. Modern day economic powers compete for dominance. Large corporations multiply into sizable empires. The sports industry, the fashion industry and the entertainment industry have their own kingdoms of sorts. The institutions in which we work and go to school develop complex hierarchies. Illegal activity finds its own way to gain power and organize crime. These many kingdoms wrestle for dominance and capture our attention.
The kingdom of God is in striking contrast to the kingdoms of this world. Which kingdom do we spend most of our time thinking about? Which kingdom exerts the most influence over our lives? Which kingdom has most captured our attention? Which preoccupies our time? Where does our allegiance lie? The kingdom of God or the kingdoms of this world?
Jesus frequently attempts to define the heavenly kingdom. The gospels reveal a radical departure from the powerful empires of our secular culture. God’s heavenly kingdom has “come near” and is “at hand”, however it is also still coming to fruition. God’s kingdom is not complete yet. We find ourselves in this “in between” time living in tension between worldliness and Godliness. The kingdom of God is drastically different from the kingdoms of earth. Understanding the heavenly kingdom changes our understanding and our expectations. The way we live is different with this new “kingdom way” of thinking.
Join us for the next sermon series at Central United Methodist Church – Kingdom Come. During the month of October, we will explore the kingdom of heaven. Each week we will study one of Jesus’ parables describing God’s kingdom. Christ’s analogies begin with the words, “the Kingdom of Heaven is like …”. Taken together these parables give a glimpse of a unique way of living that is all transforming.
Deep down, we long for the kingdom of God to come on earth. We pray together the prayer Jesus taught his followers – “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” May the kingdom of God come soon. May it be finally realized. Until that day, may it be realized in our own lives and behavior. Immediately we can change our citizenship and shift our allegiance to the kingdom that really matters. We are called by God to live in this world as “kingdom people”. May we strive to live so and consequently serve the kingdom of God on earth.
-Dr. Jan Davis
Central’s Senior Pastor