The Kingdom of God: The King's Agenda
Dear Kaleid Women,
Good morning! Did you wake up this morning with a sense of wonder? Of gratitude at the reality that you get to live in the kingdom of God this day? Of awe that your life is lived inside of that holy construct, ruled by the perfect God of love?
Maybe you didn’t. Most of us didn’t. It is not easy to be present to the kingdom of God reality, because more pressing realities are usually loud in our heads and our hearts.
So today, we invite you to travel back with us to the beginning--to the inaugural speech by the King, the one who announced “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”** and then reminded people what the King’s agenda is.
In Luke 4:18, Jesus opened His ministry by announcing:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Unlike during election years (and this one has already been a doozy, right?) fraught with election rhetoric (right or left, can we all agree that the agendas are outlandish?), Jesus, the King, announced a God-level agenda, “designed to break open the worldview of his hearers and to initiate a massive imaginative leap to which Jesus gave the name ‘faith’.”*
When Jesus came, the reign of God came. The kingdom was no longer defined by a place, a land, or a ruler, but by Jesus. At the cross, Jesus the King provided far more than a mediation of personal salvation between individuals and God or an answer to Israel’s unique longing. He initiated the restoration and healing of all things--God’s kingdom come--by confronting and conquering evil. Good news, indeed.
Today, we offer you an invitation to sit with Jesus’ trustworthy “campaign agenda.” Drink in His mind blowing “stump speech.” Observe the world, all the way from the pain and poverty of your inner world to the reality of oppression and poverty on a humanitarian scale. As you do, open yourself to the faith that Jesus wants to initiate in your heart. Listen to the King speak the agenda of His reign over your life...our lives...the life of the world.
Where does your heart long for good news, release, freedom, sight, or God’s favor? Where does the world long for good news, release, freedom, sight, or God’s favor? Allow the invitation of the Lord’s Prayer to speak to you this morning. Let us join Jesus the King in welcoming God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Kaleid Team
* Taken from N.T. Wright’s “Imagining the Kingdom: Mission and Theology in Early Christianity” in the Scottish Journal of Theology 65(4): 400, 2012.
** Matt 3:2, Matt 4:17, Mark 1:5