Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"I recently had an epiphany: about half the Christians I know love the King but are almost oblivious to the fact that he rules a kingdom, and that he calls them, in season and out, to seek his kingdom and to advance it. They are intimate with the King, or at least they say they are, but they're not about the King's business. And this: that about half the pagans I know have some inkling there's a kingdom - that life is meant to be other than it is, more joyful, hopeful, peaceful, fruitful, just; less segregated, paranoid, dismal, violent - and to varying degrees they are stumbling toward the kingdom, groping for it. But they are mostly oblivious to two things: first, that what they dream, however blurrily, is really the kingdom of God rather than some political utopia or socialist paradise or retooled version of the American dream, and second, that this kingdom has a King. They intuit the kingdom, and in some remarkable cases are doing the King's business, but they shun or remain aloof from or outright ignorant of or openly hostile to its King."

Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythms, pg 217

I've been thinking about this. In church circles, we talk about the kingdom and about serving a King. It comes right out of Scripture.

Matthew 6:10 "May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

Funny thing is, I wonder if we really have a concept of that means. We don't serve a King. We don't live in a kingdom. We don't have princes and princesses, borders to guard or advance, fairy talks with knights and dungeons or dragons to slay.

I think of all the movies that I love from the era of kings and queens. There's generally some sort of epic battle. The monarchy is either loved and revered or hated and despised. There's knights to serve faithfully. There's boarders to guard and competing kingdoms: "those guys over there" to protect against which often leads to some sort of treachery or espionage. There's adventure. Always adventure.

If we really thought about serving a "King" and being a part of a "kingdom" in those terms, I wonder if our thoughts about living for Jesus would change. If we recognized the power of a king to change and influence his kingdom, I wonder if we would see our King differently. Our King of peace, of joy, of love, of grace and of justice ruling over the powers of darkness and defeating it. I wonder if we would live differently. I wonder if those who don't know Jesus, who don't recognize the King (yet), would see something more, something bigger and something genuine if we did. I wonder.

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