Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Kingdom Within

As I was reflecting on God's reign in our lives, I was struck by a couple things that we, in our fast-paced, immediate gratification culture may miss. We look for the so-called Kingdom of God in the world around us. Opportunities to serve and bring God's dominion to bear with the poor, the beat-up and those others with needs that we can help to meet. These are all GREAT! As Christ followers our job description includes Luke 4:18-19.
But, there is another thing to consider. Jesus also that his disciples should love God with all of their heart, mind and strength. Then he said, "And your neighbor as yourself." I wonder where that love will come from when all of our resources are to be directed toward loving God. I think part of key to this is that Jesus also taught that we should seek first the kingdom of God. In another place, he told a group of religious leaders that the kingdom of God was within them. Some translations have this as the kingdom is in the midst of you, indicating something external. But, for some contemplatives the idea of kingdom being within a person resonates. As we seek the reign of God within us, God can then love our neighbor through us. Rather than an external "doing the work" of the kingdom, it, (the kingdom), wells up from deep within us as living water to care for others and the cosmos. God is all and in all.

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