Think Different--About the Kingdom of God

Check out this quote from the book Missional Church (edited by Darrell Guder):

Phot by Foto Tuben (Creative Commons)Phot by Foto Tuben (Creative Commons)“The verbs to build and to extend are not found in the New Testament’s grammar for the reign of God.  The announcement of God’s reign nowhere includes an invitation to go out and build it, nor to extend it.  These are not New Testament ways of speaking about the reign of God….  The New Testament employs the word receive and enter.” (pp. 93-94)

If it is true, as I stated in another post, that our churches tend to “lean into the ideas of conquering and domination”—or as building and extending—how might we begin to think differently about the kingdom of God?  Rather than thinking of it as something we own and control, how might we begin to “receive and enter” the kingdom of God?

A Shift in Thinking

This requires a major shift in thinking.  It requires us to believe that God’s kingdom has already come.  It requires us to believe that God is already at work in the world ahead of us.

Our churches need to believe that the kingdom of God has already come and that it really is ahead of us in the world.  As we begin to believe that, we can “receive and enter” the kingdom of God as we enter into our neighborhoods and communities.

And when we do that, we get to join God in the work that God is already doing out there in the world.

Have you tended to think of the kingdom of God that we are to “build” or “extend”?  How does it feel to think of the kingdom of God as something that we “receive and enter”?

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