KOG, that’s how I abbreviated it in my seminary notes. I find hope in the Kingdom of God. In God’s realm, I find peace for my days upon the earth.
The Kingdom of God (a.k.a. Reign of God) as defined by Rolf Jacobson’s book, Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms, is a time that hasn’t happened yet but already has begun; a place that doesn’t exist yet but where you already live. The “Kingdom of God” refers to a time and place where God’s will is done.
When I look out upon the universe, I see God. Oh yes, see good and bad and some things can be uplifting and some drive me to the darkness. I try not to get caught up in the swing of emotions that can whip me to and fro like the tail of an anxious cat. Some days I am better at centering myself than others.
When I do frame my days within the boundaries of the Reign of God, I assure myself that God is alive and well and active within HIS creation. God is not a bird perched upon a powerline watching the traffic go by. I believe from my study of scripture and my personal experience that God is actively working through everyone bringing his Kingdom to its completion one day.
I see God active in anyone who promotes peace and justice in our world. They may not be Christian but my study of scriptures (New and Old Testament) gives plenty of examples of people who were not followers of God who were used to fulfill his purpose. Cyrus the Great freed the Israelites from the bondage of Babylon. Today, the examples of people who give of themselves to alleviate hunger, inequality, racism, etc. cause me to close my eyes and thank God for his tender mercies.
I see God active in many denominations around the world. I sit on boards with people who are so polar opposite of me on the theological spectrum but who have held my hand when we have prayed. We work on projects that we see in agreement and have shared empathy. This is a glimpse for me into what the KOG will be in completion.
I see God alive and well in our denomination. Over the last decades, Lutherans have honestly and earnestly argued amongst ourselves as to where God is calling us to act and speak in His behalf. While I have sat on opposite sides of an issue nothing delights me more than when we close our Synod meetings listening to God’s word, sings hymns of praise together, and walking up to God’s altar for the means of grace in bread and wine. God welcomes ALL.
I see God most intimately in the day-to-day life of this congregation. I breathe in and out the life of my congregants. As different as we are on so many levels (economic, political, ethnic, age, and gender) we all hunger for God’s love. We ache somedays for the simple peace of God that only HE can give. We worship, pray, and serve together. We share our concerns and hurts with each other. We long for KOG to come to us on earth as it is in heaven. Well, maybe. But we do hope God can stand in the middle of our entire universe and focus our attention upon something we all can agree – God is Love. That love is found in love and justice for ALL. The day of mercy for ALL of us will be a Great Day of Glory for the ONE.
This is where I try to start my days. I try to envision what that glorious day will be like and draw strength from it. It helps me center my day and reminds me that God is alive and active and on this day; I have the privilege of seeing where He is bringing the Reign.
Grace and Peace,