The Kingdom of God is at hand

The Kingdom of God is at hand April 20, 2023

We are all born members of Christ’s body. Baptism doesn’t change the fact we are God’s Creation. It was never meant to become a delineating factor between “good” and “bad.” Galatians states, “there is no longer Jew or Greek,” and I believe God says there is Christian or non-Christian in Them either. It is meant to bring us into a community that tells us we are holy, and good. Of course, our communities are often less than perfect.

God often uses messy, complicated people to tell us we are loved. Yet so often, the message gets distorted. It’s like a game of telephone. It doesn’t come through clearly unless we are close to the source which is God. So many of us are unable to see the fact that our fellow people are God’s children too, and everyone should be treated with respect. Christian, non-Christian, male, female, transgender, cisgender, straight, gay… all are from God.

So many of us are essentially passing on the message of Love we heard from God second hand. Yet what works for one person doesn’t always work for others. A good example is telling people who are grieving a relative, “they’re in a better place now.” For the person saying that, it might have been helpful for them when their feelings of grief had begun to move into acceptance, but a person fresh to a loss is most likely not there yet.

The voice of God tells everyone, including you and me, that we are unconditionally loved. But we fail to listen to that voice more often than not.

I heard last week of a person who almost died because of the homophobia within the Church. Homophobia is a big problem, though it isn’t quite on topic. Homophobia is part of a larger problem of a lack of true Love in our church communities. We can’t claim we love God with all our heart, strength, and mind, and still choose to see our neighbors through the most critical, judgmental, unforgiving eyes possible. I define forgiveness as letting go of hatred and anger, and while not negating any harm done to a person, not seeking revenge for wrongs done to ourselves and others.

Many do hear that voice and they call it weak. I’d rather be weak than strong and abusive of that strength. We worship a God who was born as a helpless baby and died nailed to a cross. Thinking of that humanity of God with disdain puts you on the side of those who killed Jesus, and I won’t apologize for saying that.

God’s kingdom and the Good News of the Love of God is for all those who are on the outside of society. It is for the weak, the suffering, the hopeless, and the depressed in our world and inside of us. God came to heal our shame and our brokenness. It is a pity so many seem to have twisted Jesus’ message around to come to believe Jesus would have us collect money from the poor and vulnerable, or worse, elect corrupt politicians from either side.

“Only Love can look inside a human heart, and see us for who we are, and who we are would be enough.”  ~ Jordan Smith, “Only Love”

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