The Kingdom of God

The New City of Justice, Peace, and Healing

God’s claim over the world extends to all areas of life and over all peoples. God is the king of the universe, regardless of individuals, preferences, opinions, practices, or beliefs. This is a standard statement for those in the Christianity. God is sovereign. But how is that sovereignty known and understood in the world? Does an inmate being released from the county jail experience the kingdom of God when a family welcomes him into their home for a meal? Does a homeless grandmother recognize the kingdom of God when a young mother drives her to the grocery store? Is a refugee mother of seven in the Kingdom of God when a group of Christians arrive at her apartment to wash her children’s hair and de-infest her apartment of lice and bed bugs? This last example is remarkable, one woman who had come to help wash the children’s hair reflected, “It reminded me of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. But here we are washing the children’s hair.” Is this how the Kingdom comes?

God’s claim to Kingship over the world is commonly interpreted as a claim of power. God is over the world and rules it through his power. Yet, the significance of God’s kingship is not his power, so much as his righteousness. “But the Lord sits enthroned forever, he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness” (Psalm 9:8). God’s reign exists so that his righteousness might dwell in the earth. God’s sovereign power serves the ultimate goal of God’s kingdom righteousness being practically expressed in all the nations of the earth. What is that righteousness? And how does God express and enact his Kingdom reign?

The expression of the kingdom of God is through God’s people, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you and through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). God begins the process of bringing his righteousness to expression in the world through a particularly selected group of people whose main purpose in life is to express the blessing of the righteousness of their King. Yet, this blessing comes about in a pre-defined way. God’s righteousness has a certain look to it. God does not leave us to guess at what the blessing of the Kingdom might look like. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). At the very core of the Kingdom call on the lives of God’s people is the action-taking nature of justice, the emotional and personal investment of kindness, and the defining nature of humility. God’s Kingdom is life as it was meant to be on earth. A life that is filled with justice, kindness, and humility.

Read more from the Reconciliation and Justice Network!