The blog series The Kingdom Is Here – Where Do You See It? is now underway. I began with some theological reflections last week and this week began to post the reflections that are being sent in by other writers. This morning I was reading Richard Rohr’s book The Naked Now. In reflecting on the kingdom of God he states:
He (Jesus) is not talking about a place or an afterlife, but a way of seeing and thinking now. The kingdom of God is the naked now – the world without human kingdoms, ethnic communities or social identifications. That is about as subversive and universalist as you can get. But don’t think about that too much; it will surely change your politics and your pocketbook.
How different this is from our later notion of salvation, which pushed the entire issue into the future and largely became a reward and punishment system. How different from Jesus’ ‘the kingdom of heaven is in your midst” (Luke 17:21) or Paul’s “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Healthy religion is always about seeing and knowing something now, which demands a transformation of consciousness on my part today, not moral gymnastics or heroic will power to earn a prize later.
I agree with Richard. We need to change our thinking so that we are not focused on pie in the sky by and by but are transformed into people who work for God’s kingdom purposes now.
There is still time to contribute if you are interested. What do you see that gives you hope and joy? What expressions of love assure you that God’s presence is indeed bursting into our world today?