Wise Words for Today

"Seek first the kingdom of God "
Image by e.r.w.i.n. via Flickr

Central to understanding this call of Jesus is the idea that it concerned itself less with the salvation of individual souls and more with the formation of a renewed Israel, a community of disciples that would collectively embody the kingdom once Jesus ascended to the Father. The kingdom of God and the community it creates are primarily public and therefore social entities. To be brought into the kingdom involves membership, citizenship, adoption into a new family, new loyalties and allegiances, and a fundamentally new identity. This is no mere “personal relationship with Jesus.” To be a citizen of the kingdom is to be given privileges and obligations that entail relationships with other people. These dimensions of kingdom life supersede individual faith, experience, and practice. Kingdom citizenship reorients our relationships to the King, to the other citizens of the kingdom of God, and to other kingdoms. That is why so much of the New Testament contains ethical teaching regarding relationships with other members of the kingdom and with those who stand outside it.

Michael Erre

(from Death by Church)

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