The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe. (Mark 1:15)
Faith. Faith in the divine Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not blind faith, or against reason–believing in the Kingdom of God actually makes more sense than anything else, all things considered. But nonetheless we must believe in what we cannot see, in order to enter the Kingdom of God. Faith is the only entrance. [Spanish.]
What we see is: signs. We see love at work in this world. We see kindness and mercy. We see new beginnings and peaceful harmony, in quiet little corners. We see brothers and sisters who hunger and thirst for justice, willing to sacrifice themselves for others. We see how faith in what we can’t see makes the people we can see admirable and beautiful.
So we see signs of the heavenly life of God’s kingdom. But we don’t see it, the thing itself. Doesn’t mean it ain’t real. Nothing could be more real than the love that unites the Father and the Son–the same love that unites us, when we repent and believe. Nothing could be more real than heaven. But for us, for now, this wonderfully real thing is something in which we believe, rather than something we see. And by believing, we come to know and understand everything else that is worth knowing and understanding in life.
We believe that this kingdom–the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Christ–we believe that it involves the triumph of truth and justice. Parents have to teach their children that life isn’t fair. But in the Kingdom of God, it is. The One Who sees all, knows all, and balances everything equitably: He is the One Who assigns everyone his or her place and apportions all the goods in the Kingdom of God.
In the Kingdom of God, cheaters never prosper; liars never get away with it; evil deeds never get swept under the rug; the proud never crush the weak. In God’s kingdom, humble honesty always wins the reward it deserves.
Maybe you’re thinking: Father, what kind of other world is this? You say it’s real, but what you’re talking about sounds like a fantasy. The kingdom where compassion unites everyone of pure heart–that seems like a mere dream world, compared to the planet we actually know about.
Here on planet Earth, generations pass, and we don’t seem to learn any lessons about justice. Babies continue to get killed in the womb, racists continue to send orphans back to war zones, and husbands and wives still don’t know how to communicate with each other. What could possibly unite this fallen world with the supposed divine kingdom of Jesus Christ?
Ok. Reasonable question. Here’s the answer. Two things can and do unite planet Earth with the Kingdom of God.
1. The Cross. Jesus conquered the cosmos and became her king using one weapon. The most powerful weapon ever wielded. A weapon that makes both Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump look like little rocket men by comparison. The Cross.
By stretching out His arms on the cross, Jesus overcame all the evil of this generation, and every human generation, with one, single, definitive divine act. The world as we know it, with all its sins that cry to heaven for justice–this world, and the Kingdom of Heaven governed by the Prince of Peace: these two realms have a bridge between them. An open bridge, free of all tariffs and border control. The Holy Cross of Jesus’ sacrifice. Which brings us to…
2. Prayer. “Thy Kingdom come.” It might seem like the Kingdom of God only exists in some kind of fantasy realm of pure imagination. But, in fact, the Kingdom of God actually lies just one prayer away from right here.
Jesus always dwelt under the protection of His heavenly Father; He always lived in the Kingdom of God. Even as He hung on the cross, gasping for breath, in the bitterest agony. He cried out, “Abba, Father!” And Jesus knew that the Father heard Him.
Same goes for us. The Kingdom comes when we pray. We live in the Kingdom of God–when we pray. We might think our faith is faltering; we might think our hearts have become impure, when we cry out in desperation or confusion. But, actually, that is precisely when our prayer to the Father is the most intimate and holy–when we are the most desperate, and the most confused.
Lord, Your kingdom come! We can’t do it alone. We don’t know what we’re doing. Lord Jesus, we need a king, and we need it to be You.