The Kingdom of God is Among Us
Mark 1:14-15 Romans 14:17 Luke 21:25-36 Isaiah 26:20
As I write this, all around the world people are in “lockdown”. Businesses schools, universities, sports fixtures, even parks and playgrounds are closed. We are constantly reminded to keep our distance, wash our hands and stay at home. All because of a microbe that we can’t even see with the human eye but that is wreaking so much chaos all over the earth, an unseen, yet powerful ever-present reality of life on earth today.
So why is this invisible power causing so much terror, trauma and panic? Because, while it may be invisible, its effects are not, they are patently and potently visible. We can all see what is happening, how the darkness of death and sickness is stretching its tentacles across the nations of the earth.
When Jesus began His ministry on this earth, He came “preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God”. He told the people that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Yet they couldn’t see anything different from what they were used to seeing: Roman overlords, crippling taxes, failing crops, leprosy, pain and the disparity between rich and poor. If what Jesus was saying was true, where was, where is, this wonderful Kingdom of God?
What the people listening to Jesus were looking for was a physical King to bring a physical Kingdom to overthrow the tyranny of Rome, to restore health and fruitfulness to their nation. What Jesus, Immanuel, brought with Him was an everlasting, invisible but patently and potently real Kingdom of God. A Kingdom that literally was a handspan away from them, standing before them, if they would only open their spiritual eyes to see.
Jesus carried with Him the evidence of the Kingdom of God, in every word He spoke, every action He carried out. His Life was the Fruit of this Kingdom. When storms raged on the sea, He was either asleep in the back of the boat or He was walking on the stormy waves, because in His Kingdom, His word was and is the reality. When faced with the hungry, He fed 5000 men, plus women and children, directly from the Kingdom of God. When murdered by His own people, He burst the bonds of death and the hell of this earthy realm, and rose victorious proving that what we see with our eyes and feel with our senses is not, and never was, His Kingdom.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul talks about clean and unclean food, and reminds the readers that the Kingdom of God is not in this, but is in “righteousness, peace and joy IN the Holy Spirit”. To live in this Kingdom, we have to relinquish all the evidence we see with our earthly eyes, all our religious traditions and rituals, repent of our lack of belief in what Jesus both said and displayed, and surrender our lives to Him.
Yes, this earth is going through tumult and torment, but God is not surprised, He never was and never will be. Jesus encouraged us to always be alert, always to be noticing the signs of the coming of the Son of Man, to draw closer to Him, to trust Him implicitly, no matter what is happening.
About 3000 years ago God instructed Isaiah to write: “Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past.”
This is not the time for fear, for panic and pleading with God to stop this. Jesus told us, when we see these things happen, to lift up our heads, to rejoice for our Redemption is drawing ever closer.
Prayer: Abba Father, Your Kingdom is here, among us, within us. We pray that all who are in fear and dread will turn to You, will acknowledge that You are the King in all the earth and trust You. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen