Many people I interact with do not relate to the idea of a Kingdom of God. For starters, few would confidently say they believe in God and even if they did, they aren’t sure that he is actually that good or powerful. 

Look at the state of our world today; the pain, the suffering, and the growing division. How could a loving God ever allow our planet to end up this way? Why even bother asking the question if he truly exists?

Moreover, our culture struggles with the idea of a kingdom. We value, and for many good reasons, the democratic society that we have built. People are skeptical of kings and queens and centralized leadership. We witness and sometimes are victims of corruption, deceit and control. Can someone be king and actually use their power in a way that empowers and strengthens the people that they rule and serve? Unfortunately, examples of power being used to oppress and control rather than to establish justice and equality for the least are all around us. Too many leaders appear more concerned with politicking than actually helping the people that they serve.

Jesus burst onto the scene at the beginning of his ministry and declared, “Repent and believe! The Kingdom of God is at hand!” These words come in the context of a people who were forced under Roman rule. The Isrealites yearned for independence and though they had many freedoms, they were under the emperor and Herod. Into this context, Jesus starts boldly declaring that a new kingdom is coming. One that is not led by the Roman emperor or any other human leader but by God himself.

These teachings created quite the controversy in Jesus’ time and helped contribute to his execution under Roman rule. Do they have any meaning or significance for us today?

As I look at the growing hostility that is growing in the United States, we see that though our system of democracy is a good one and possibly the best one we can use this side of heaven, it is far from perfect. There are winners and losers. Large portions of the country can feel like they are not represented, regardless of the winner. We also see the importance of how leaders use influence and power, and how it can bring good or evil. 

As Jesus describes the Kingdom of God, what is it like? How is it different from the kingdoms that we have grown accustomed to? How is Jesus a different leader from the ones we see in our worldly systems? Why would I want to be a part of his kingdom? Why would I place my hope in it? Join us, Wednesday evenings this January on Zoom as we dive into a new series: “Parables of Jesus: What is the Kingdom?” We’ll try to dive into these questions and more. Email for more information. 

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