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The Already/Not Yet Kingdom of God

Peace Connections

peaceable kingdom“May the God of Peace make you perfect in holiness.”

Isaiah paints a picture of the Kingdom of God come in its fullness.  God, like a loving father, bends down to his crying child, places his hand under her chin and bids her look up into his eyes of compassion; her broken heart is mended.  Those once bound now dance to the everlasting song of freedom.  Jubilation rings throughout the land as the reign of justice flows forth to every nation.  Even creation sighs in relief as years of degradation are rolled back.

Paul, however, is mindful that Isaiah’s vision of the Kingdom of God is not yet but looks to its coming with the return of Jesus.  But John tells us that the Messiah is already come.  The kingdom is therefore among us.  And yet we can readily see that Isaiah’s vision is not present before us.  The Kingdom…

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Sins of Omission

Peace Connections

The Parable of the Good Shepherd Separating the Sheep from the Goats

“I’m telling you the truth: when you did it to one of the least significant of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.”

With today’s gospel, the church year comes to its conclusion.  Jesus announces himself to be the eternal king.  And with this comes the revelation that as king he will judge his subjects.  The judgment of his subjects will be according to the same measure by which kings themselves were judged.  Psalm 72 records the standard in a prayer for the king.

Teach the king to judge with your righteousness, O God; share with him your own justice,    so that he will rule over your people with justice and govern the oppressed with righteousness.  He rescues the poor who call to him and those who are needy and neglected.  He has pity on the weak and poor; he saves the lives of those in need. He…

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