The Food of the Kingdom

We can also understand our return home differently: in the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist comes preaching "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," in other words, rapidly approaching (Mt. 3:2). When Jesus preaches "The kingdom of God is come unto you," it has come upon you (Mt. 12:28). John and Jesus tell us that Jesus coming was the coming of the kingdom of God, not in some future life after death, but in this life, in this world.

We need not wait until after death to enter into the kingdom of God, for it has already come on us. Turning from sin is needed now, not later. Entry into the kingdom of God, which comes with repentance, is needed now, not later. Jesus stands at the door, knocking (Rev. 3:20), waiting for us to open ourselves to his coming and kingdom. We can end our exile with repentance, repentance that is confirmed and continued by the Christian life King Benjamin describes.

Return to God from our worldly exile, a return both here and now and in the hereafter, comes from feasting on his Word: fidelity to the Word, repentance, fasting, prayer, study, and life by the Spirit, life marked by our willingness to empty ourselves of our substance to the benefit of those who need. That food, which gives to others and empties us rather than takes from others and fills us, gives us the strength we need to return home—where we find that we are as soon as we recognize the kingdom of God that has already come.

11/2/2011 4:00:00 AM
  • Mormon
  • Speaking Silence
  • Exile
  • Journey
  • Mormonism
  • James Faulconer
    About James Faulconer
    James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, where he has taught philosophy since 1975.
    Close Ad