The reign of God was the central vision Jesus had for his own life and ministry. It was the vision he hoped to pass on to those who would continue his work. “It is apparent that the new way of living Jesus had in mind was a “here-now” rather than a “here-after” vision. Far from being a theoretical ideal or having a faraway location, this was to be a present reality rooted in earthly space time. It had to do with relationships with real people, an inclusivity that disregarded cultural and religious convention and embraced a new way of living in response to the incomprehensible holy mystery Jesus called Father. (Judy Cannato)
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
It is an unfortunate and easy perspective that the reign of God is faraway and something that will come. It takes us off the hook. Jesus saw it as something to be lived now. If love is the sign and relationships are the method, how do we measure ourselves against this now? How can you make the reign of God real in your own life? What effects will this have?
When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with others, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
When we see social relationships controlled everywhere by the principles which Jesus illustrated in life — trust, love, mercy, and altruism — then we shall know that the kingdom of God is here.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of getting individuals to heaven, but of transforming the life on earth into the harmony of heaven.
The kingdom of God, which Jesus came to inaugurate, is meant to create an alternate reality in this world, and ultimately to transform the kingdoms of this world.
There can be no Kingdom of God in the world without the Kingdom of God in our hearts.
The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom.
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.
The kingdom, Jesus taught, is right here–present yet hidden, immanent yet transcendent. It is at hand–among us and beyond us, now and not-yet. The kingdom of heaven, he said, belongs to the poor, the meek, the peacemakers, the merciful, and those who hunger and thirst for God. It advances not through power and might, but through missions of mercy, kindness, and humility.
Rachel Held Evans
The kingdom is nearby, adjacent to our own reality, present, yet veiled in the boundaries we avoid, and in the margins we protect ourselves from.
Drawing a cross on your forehead won’t get you into heaven, for real heaven can only manifest around us on earth, if we, the individual humans, start acting as civilized creatures of conscience and character.
To come to live in the kingdom of God, or to seek to live in a world other than our disenchanted milieu, requires a wholesale reordering of our habits and commitments.