Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Counter Intuitive Kingdom Buidling

THE NEWS TODAY IS FILLED with those trying to build or rebuild kingdoms.  Whether one reads of Egypt, Yemen, Cote d'Iovire, Libya or even Burkina Faso it seems that even if the kingdom change begins with peaceful twittering's, things quickly escalate to rock throwing and grenade heaving.

It seems to have always been this way with humankind.  We seek change, sometimes even for the good, but it requires great shows of power. When all is said and done it is the powerful that remain in power, and those who started with the least end up with even less, one only needs to consider the genocide in Rwanda to see that tragic truth unfold.

This makes my sermon passage for this coming Sunday, April 10, 2011, even more striking.  In Mark 10:13-31 Jesus addresses the design, development, and deployment of the Kingdom of God.  It looks nothing like the kingdom-development that is taking place around our world as I compose this Pastor's Study blog.

This week we have a group from our church serving down at the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  They are seeking to love and serve those who society often sees as the unlovely or worse those who are "throw-aways."  They are serving, in Jesus' name those whom Jesus called the "least of these." (Matthew 25:40) They are serving those who might well be first in the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:31), and thus I thought it would be good to direct my sermon thoughts to how Jesus describes the Kingdom of God.

This week, at our church, we will also be celebrating the importance of children, as we join hands with the the child sponsorship program of Compassion International. On Compassion Sunday we alert our church family to the needs of the children throughout the world and how they can be actively involved in caring for the needs of those to whom Jesus says the kingdom belongs. (Matthew 19:14)

So, with these two important events taking place this week, it is a good time to take a series look at just what the Kingdom of God is, and how one finds entry into it. The contrasts are great. For on one hand we are to come as little children (Mark 10:14) and on the other hand those who choose to be part of the Kingdom are called to follow Jesus, not only in giving up, but also knowing that we shall receive persecutions (Mark 10:30).

Truly, the Kingdom of God is a great reality, the Kingdom of which I desire to be a part of, and of which I desire to help others attain.  It is a Kingdom not established through war but through peace.  It is a Kingdom not made of the powerful, but of the weak. It is a Kingdom not acquired only through right belief, but through faithful and obedient following of the One whose Kingdom it is, Jesus.

The Kingdom of God, made up not of His warriors, but of His children.

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