People often ask how we’re meant to actually live the Kingdom. That’s a fair question. The Kingdom is not a pipe dream, but a reality; it is not idealism, but realism. And the teachings of Jesus are as practical as pie: believe God, forgive others, love your enemies, live as servants, give generously… all these charges are written in the red letters of the King’s directives.
But lets look deeper: Motivation is a key. Sometimes we religious types are tempted to think of these sorts of things as a way of “adding to our salvation” or suring-up our Christian personality. But forgiving my enemy is much more than a self-help tip for becoming a better me. It is a principle of a changed world. This is what the Kingdom looks like! So it’s important to do what we do with a view towards the redemption of God’s creation.
Here are some other characteristics:
Kingdom people are storytellers: We understand the Sacred Story written in our DNA, and we retell and showcase it through the stories around us. We identify the Kingdom in events and films, in sayings and seeds. Jesus did this with his parables. He was forever telling stories and saying “The Kingdom of God is like a net, a pearl, a treasure, a landowner…” and I believe we are meant to tell the same sorts of stories.
Kingdom people are creative: Kingdoms do not arise from a vacuum. They are built through vision, creativity, and labor. God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to fill the world, and filling the world is still his concern. Kingdom people make things: they plant gardens, they build houses, they write music and books, create art and recipes, raise families and start charitable organizations. Few can do it all, but God has given each of us unique creative gifts that are meant to add to the glory of His kingdom.
Kingdom people are childlike: We live in wonder, forgive quickly, act in innocence, ask endless questions, laugh and play well with others, bounce with joy, squeal with delight, accept the differences of others, live in the present, take chances, and leave the worrying to Dad.
To be continued….