Thy Kingdom Come

If we try to make the church into the kingdom of God, we create a false idol that will disappoint us.  If we try to make the world itself into the kingdom, we will always be resentful when it does not come through.  If we make a later heaven into the kingdom, we miss most of its transformative message for now.  We are not waiting for the coming of an ideal church or any perfect world here and now, or even for the next world.  The kingdom is more than all of these.  It is always here and not here.  It is always now and not yet.  No institution can encompass it.  That is rather clear in the texts where Jesus describes the kingdom.

All false religion proceeds in a certain sense from one illusion.  When people say piously, “Thy kingdom come” out of one side of their mouth, they need also to say, “My kingdom go!” out of the other side.  The kingdom of God supersedes and far surpasses all kingdoms of self and society or personal reward.

Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr, p.13

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