The Spirit works in mysterious ways. Weeks ago, when we set out our preaching themes, we did not think about how what we were planning would coincide with the Special General Conference held in St. Louis this past week. Therefore, it is strangely ironic and deeply appropriate that this week we are looking at what Jesus meant when he talked about the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God—the moment, the place, the people where the peace and justice of God are most deeply realized and present. When Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God, he was not talking about something light-years away or something we experience when we die. No, when Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God, he was talking about a reality in the present, in the here-and-now. That is what we pray for every week in The Lord’s Prayer when we utter those words, “Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Let that sink in for a minute.
What was really at the heart of the debate in St. Louis? More than just the place of LGBTQ persons in our church. It was the Kingdom of God, what it looks like and who can belong to it, that was being debated. Today at Royal Oak First, we will simply reaffirm what we believed to be true before this week’s conference.
The Kingdom of God is built on healing and wholeness, acceptance and inclusion, grace and redemption, compassion and justice. We believe that it is open to people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, nationalities, and economic standings.
In God’s Kingdom, the hungry are fed, the sick are visited, elders are honored, children are both protected and empowered and the dignity of all people is affirmed.
Therefore, I am glad that on this Sunday, in particular, we can talk about the one thing Jesus talked about more than anything else, The Kingdom of God.
May we live into it today “on earth as it is in heaven!”
Grace and peace,
PS: Click here to read my full response to the decision made in St. Louis.