Jesus says My kingdom is not from this world
Well that’s not a surprise. These past weeks has certainly brought that in to light! Bombings in Paris, Beirut, Mali and Syria. Fear causing knee jerk reactions and because of a lack of understanding, increasing prejudice toward Muslims.
And so we wonder, where is the Reign of Christ? When will the Kingdom be here? Because it seems like we are getting further and further away from it. With all these things happening we start to feel like maybe we should just give up. Close the doors of the church and remain inside. Build a wall around a community and not interact with anyone.
But if we think about it has the world really changed that much? – Those of you who were sitting here during WWII – what were you thinking on Reign of Christ Sunday those years?
Germany, created a list of Jews, marked them with stars, closed their business, imprisoned them – starved them, worked them and of course killed them. We, as a country, closed our borders to Jewish refugees who were trying to seek asylum.
Then the US was attacked by Japan, when they bombed Pearl Harbor. So, because they looked different than us, we gathered our Japanese Americans and put them in prison camps, leaving their homes and businesses to be vandalized.
What followed was many of our loved ones went off to war. How many of you sat here wondering where is the Reign of Christ? Where is the Kingdom?
What were you thinking on Reign of Christ Sunday during the Civil Rights Area. When people of color were not afforded the same rights as we have? When the National Guard had to be called to help enforce people’s constitutional rights because their state governments would not.
When schools had armed guards so laws would be adhered to and children of color could attend unharmed. When peaceful demonstrations were disrupted by fire hoses, rubber bullets, billy clubs and sometime more lethal means. How many of you sat in church wondering where is the Reign of Christ? Where is the Kingdom?
I could go on. We know the world is not always good. People do not always do the right thing. The Reign of Christ is certainly not here. But that doesn’t mean we don’t see a glimpse of it once in a while, if we look. It also doesn’t mean we can’t continue to work for it.
Jesus tells Pilate, “If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
After 2,000 years are we still afraid to fight for the Kingdom? Are we afraid to stand up for the rights of those who are oppressed, broken, hungry?
How can we expect to have the Reign of Christ, the Kingdom of God here on earth if we are not willing to stand up and fight for what Jesus teaches us?
This text ends with Jesus saying, “I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” So I ask Are we listening? Do we hear Jesus teaching? Because until we do the Kingdom will not come.
This isn’t new every week we pray, Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. But when we walk out these doors what are we doing to make it so? It will not happen without us continuing to work for it.
So as we sit here on Reign of Christ Sunday 2015. May today not only be a memory of what Jesus calls us to do. May it change our lives. May we decide to not only actively live as Jesus teaches, but live it without fear!
Today when we say thy will be done – May we mean it and work for it. When people need help let us help them! When people are oppressed let us work so they can live their lives as fully as we do. As we do so may we especially remember when Jesus said, “let the little children come to me,” he did not say but only those of a certain race, creed or ethnicity.
Let all of us testify to the truth! Work to bring the Kingdom here! Live like we believe in everything Jesus calls us to do! And on Reign of Christ Sunday 2016. Let us put up a list with all that we have accomplished helping to bring the kingdom here on earth!