When you read the Gospels and the other books of the New Testament, you can’t help but notice that God’s kingdom is radically different than any kind of earthly kingdom. Seriously… at times, it is described as being and operating in a way that is completely opposite from the expected.
Dave Black wrote a little about that this morning on his blog. In this entry, he’s talking about speaking with a church yesterday. But, in the middle of the post, he writes this description of God’s backward and upside-down kingdom (see his entry from Monday, November 7, 2011 at 7:45 a.m.):
The kingdom is a subtle contagion. It expands one small step of obedience at a time in our lives. For example, Jesus turns power and authority on its head, and His followers say, “Okay, makes no earthly sense to us, but if that’s what the Master says, it’s good enough for us.” Before his conversion to Christianity in AD 200, Minucius Felix said of the Christians, “They despise titles of honor and the purple robe of high government office … calling one another brother and sister indiscriminately.” He noticed how radically different the kingdom of God is from all versions of the kingdoms of this world. The radical vision of a Calvary-like kingdom is so new to me that I sometimes forget that it’s been around for almost 2,000 years!
Yes, the kingdom of God has been around for a long time. But, have you notice how easy it is to drift into “this world” kingdom kind of thinking? Because of that tendency, it’s good to have reminders like this.