Kingdom of God
In St. Mark’s Gospel reading today Jesus speaks of the “Kingdom of God”. What is the Kingdom of God? Jesus never offers a clear definition of the kingdom. Instead He gave his vision of it through parables and images of everyday life.
Jesus tells us in today’s reading vs. 30-32 “with what can we compare the Kingdom of God?” He goes on to tell us about the mustard seed (the smallest of all seeds.) Given time that small seed may sprout into a bush so large that birds come and nest in its branches, God’s Kingdom works like that. Against all odds, God’s Kingdom will grow and spread throughout the world, bringing shade to the sick, the poor, the imprisoned, the unloved. In Matt. 13:44-46, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” And “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who on finding one pearl of great value went and sold all that he had and bought it.” To those who perceive the value of the kingdom it is to be treasured above all else. It is to be sought above all else as we hear in Matt. 6:33 “But seek first the Kingdom of God”. There are many more sayings by Jesus about the kingdom and we learn from them that the Kingdom of God operates by a different set of rules from any earthly kingdom. It lives and grows within us, the members of God’s church. Philip Yancey describes the kingdom of God as “a society that welcomes people of all races and social classes, that is characterized by love, that cares most for its weakest members, that stands for justice and righteousness in a world enamored with selfishness and decadence, a society in which members compete for the privilege of serving one another – this is what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God should be the driving force in our lives. We His followers should live and breathe it, in order to enter it, act as its citizens, and proclaim it.
At Jesus’ second coming the Kingdom of God will appear in all it’s fullness. Until that time we must work toward a better future always glancing back to the gospels to see what the future will be like.
Let us pray.
All your works praise you O Lord
And your faithful servants bless you
They make known the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your power
That the peoples may know of your power
And the glorious splendor of your Kingdom
Your Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom
Your dominion endures throughout all ages.