Following Jesus

The Kingdom That I Seek

September 10, 2020 by

monarch butterfly
Photograph by Britta Wareham.

“Thy kingdom come” as a command doesn’t work for me. I don’t like telling God what to do . . . I suspect he already knows what to do. “May thy kingdom come” seems better, framing the command as a request or hope, but even that doesn’t sit well with me. Commandments, moral rules, and spiritual encouragement have their place, to be sure. But what calls to me, what speaks directly to my heart, what sings the songs that my soul longs to hear?

It is the fact of the Incarnation: the acts, the words, the gestures of the Son of Man as he moves wonderfully through the Gospels and through the lives of many saints – Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Native American. Another concept that speaks to me is the idea of relationships: our relationship with God, with our fellow man, with the natural world of creatures and created things. (The philosopher Martin Buber’s wonderful intimations of this come to mind.) The land I want to live in is a land of communion through conversation.

The kingdom that I seek is not some apocalyptic future beyond reason, thought, and imagination. It is a kingdom of incarnation right now. A kingdom of relationship, a kingdom of conversation, a kingdom of sharing, a kingdom of compassion, a kingdom of mercy and love, which we create and incarnate now through our decisions to follow the Son of Man.

His kingdom is not far off. It is, if we will let it, here and now: for “behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:21)

We ourselves are the gates of heaven.

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About the author

Allen Wood

Allen Wood

Allen Wood lives with his wife Gio at the Mount Community.

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