“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jeremiah 23:5
“Jesus set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. Hebrews 2:15
Some years ago I read the book “Why Nations Fail” (Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson). Of course, geography and climate can be factors – lack of natural resources, poor soil, mountains; too little rain, too much rain. Sadly, there are human causes – greed for more power, more wealth … somehow, any way; leaders with no regard for the prosperity of its people or even basic needs to sustain themselves and families; oppressive leaders who ban basic freedoms; leaders unable to relinquish power in time, over territory. Today’s “kings” might talk of justice, but wisdom is identified by how to retain power and gain more wealth. “Kingdoms” of this world … as we know it.
Jesus’ kingdom was/is “not of this world” but a kingdom of justice and righteousness, mercy and forgiveness. Jesus’ kingdom would not appeal to today’s “kings”. Grace and compassion aren’t money makers. Spending time with the poor and those deemed socially unworthy isn’t prestigious. Jesus wasn’t invited to eat with civic leaders, no tux, no red carpet. Then he died, mocked and forsaken, a far cry from a kingdom of wealth, power, and territory.
We are citizens of both “kingdoms”. As citizens of the world we have a responsibility to follow societal rules and regulations that maintain order in our communities. As citizens of Christ’s kingdom we have a responsibility to live with compassion and a heart for caring and sharing. We are fortunate to live in a nation where we are free to worship, to speak our values, to advocate for equality and justice, to live as God’s kingdom come.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” Forgive our indifference. We pray for wisdom to see what is your will; what is just and righteous and kind; and the courage and strength to act. Amen