I made a bold statement in my last post about the kingdom being a political, social, economic, cultural and religious revolution. And this post elaborates a little on that statement as well as taking a few tangents.
The Kingdom of God and Western Evangelical Christianity
The kingdom of God advances with the proclamation and the interaction of the gospel upon the spheres of this world and our lives. What I feel western evangelical Christians are clear on is that the gospel brings us personal redemption from our sins. And yet sometimes this is a bit of a lofty concept that never really finds a grounding in our Mondays and in our coffee drinking and teeth pulling.
And yet the gospel that Jesus preaches, and proclaims and enacts was not merely one that pertained only to people’s spiritualities. In the ‘gospels’ we see a gospel that permeates all spheres of our lives , and every cell in our bodies. It pertains to our physical bodies, it pertains to religion, it pertains to social structures, it pertains to cultures. And when we let this gospel invade our hearts and lives from the bottom up, as it often so gently does, like gentle ocean currents, all of a sudden we find redemption in all spheres of our lives. We find it in our hearts in it’s expansion and in it’s tenderising. We find it in our minds and in it’s broadening and sharpening and unveiling. We find it in our eyes in their opening and in their newfound sight. We find it in our dreams and in their discovering. We find it in our passions and in their awakening. We find it in our bodies and in it’s healing. And it creeps into our jobs and our relationships and etc. The gospel of the kingdom somehow gives real meaning and real worth to everything we find ourselves in.
Incarnation and Redemption
The nature of incarnation is “God with us”, in which the “with” is so very real. The divine becomes the fleshly, the sacred becomes the secular, God becomes man. There is a wholism if there is such a word, that is created by the divine becoming man and furthermore, a man with hands that fashions things from wood.
And in the becoming there comes a redeeming and a divinizing you could say – because God becomes man, and then lifts man to the level of God. And in this assessment of things, there can be no dichotomy between the sacred and the secular, the physical, the spiritual, the mental in the sense that one is not better than the other. For e.g. the pastor is not more spiritual than the layperson. The lay person does not do his job only to pay the pastors wages, but there is real inherent value in all activity and all ‘work’. In the same vein, the spirituality and teachings and lessons from the pastor must have real applications in one’s day to day working life. God and the gospel cannot be limited to Sunday mornings and the short prayer before our meals. Spirituality is physicality and is psychology.
So this is my hope: that our King is in the business of redeeming.
He is redeeming every decision, every molecule and atom and quark, every personality, every emotion, every cell, every plane and dimension.
And he is in the business of redeeming a generation.