Lent Devotional – Thurs, Feb 25: KINGDOM

In these Beatitudes, the kingdom is a place of belonging. In this sense, it becomes an expansive community. Perhaps it will manifest here on earth as well as in heaven.

As Christ tells us, the blessed become part of the kingdom. They have citizenship within it. Or if one thinks of kingdom as family, the blessed have been adopted into it.

Of course, all human families and communities come with their own complexity. Belonging to the same circle of spiritual connection doesn’t guarantee consensus. We may or may not get along. Work and commitment are required, on our part, to belong to each other within this kingdom that has embraced all of us. We must also believe that God will continue to help us belong to each other; we’re not always good at doing it by ourselves.

Yet the other aspect of the grace of these Beatitudes and God’s kingdom, is that we cannot earn our participation in it. We have been invited. Yet we also have free will. We have the choice to turn away, or to say yes. — Rev Gail

Meditations:

The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind. — John Burroughs

The outer kingdom is not our real home. The inner kingdom is our everything.  —Marianne Williamson

Jesus made clear that the Kingdom of God is organic and not organizational. It grows like a seed and it works like leaven: secretly, invisibly, surprisingly, and irresistibly. — Os Guinness

A little kingdom I possess, where thoughts and feelings dwell; And very hard the task I find of governing it well. — Louisa May Alcott

I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love. — W. E. B. Du Bois

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more. — Oscar Wilde

Challenge or Question: Within which of the communities or circles of belonging to whom you connect — family or extended kin-group, friend network, affinity groups, clubs, teams, schools, workplaces, nonprofit organizations or institutions — do you experience an expression of the kingdom of God? What does it look like in these scenarios?

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