Once again this week the world of politics has surprised and shaken many people.
After the EU referendum I wrote the following:
'If we follow Christ, then we are first citizens of the Kingdom of God, under his reign and rule, under his authority and governing power. The church is an outpost of heaven here on earth. Ultimately we don’t live for an EU ‘kingdom’ or a United Kingdom. Our priority is to God's Kingdom and seeing that come here on earth. Jesus said to “seek first the Kingdom [of God] and don’t worry about all that other stuff” (my paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-34).'
But what does it mean to pray for God's Kingdom to come? What should we expect? What does it look like in our life together as a church? The following quote from Peter Lewis in his superb book ‘The Glory of Christ’ helps us grasp both the relationship of the Kingdom and the church; and what it means for us to play our part in seeing his Kingdom come here on earth.
"The Kingdom of God must neither be divorced from history nor confined within history nor confused with history. It is not constructed from the materials of this world (it’s politics, sociology, resources, changes, etc.) Indeed, its origins are in another world. But it does come into this world and touches its people and its politics, its societies and its sociologies. It does this through the salting and lighting influence of its own people (Mt. 5:13-16): the followers of Christ, the sons and daughters of the Kingdom.”
He goes on to unpack what this salting and lighting influence looks like in the life of the church;
"...touching the untouchables, including the excluded, out-facing the powers that keep people from God, modelling the life of the kingdom of God in our church communities; communities of reconciled people in societies of alienated people; communities of caring people in a world of individuals too preoccupied to care; communities of love and peace, encouragement and strength, commitment and loyalty.”*
This isn’t just worth giving some thought to, it’s worth giving our lives to.
*Peter Lewis, The Glory of Christ (Paternoster Press 2001) p38-39,