Jesus talked more about this thing he called the “kingdom of heaven” or the “kingdom of God” than anything else. He said he came to bring it here to earth. It IS the Good News he preached everywhere he went. It was important to him.
It’s odd then that when he spoke of it he didn’t rattle off a bunch of statistics to the crowds. Or try to get it funded by the wealthy, endorsed by the powerful, or backed by the government. What he did was crazy – horrible marketing actually. He told stories, metaphors really. Jesus would’ve have made a great song writer. A terrific Compassion blogger here in Uganda.
The kingdom of God has arrived, Jesus said, and it’s bricks continue to be laid when God’s will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven.
The kingdom is like a mustard seed – It doesn’t look like much at first but give it time.
The kingdom is like a boss who paid every worker the same wage regardless of when they clocked in – It’s a gift you can’t earn.
And my favorite: The kingdom of God is like a potluck supper.
Ok, so that’s my Baptist translation but that’s what he was getting at right?. The kingdom is a big party with plenty of food for everyone.
The kicker, the twist in this story, is the guest list and the etiquette. Jesus says, Don’t make the rich people, the healthy people, the prominent and powerful first. Nope, invite the poorest, the sick, the cripples, the lowest of the low. They’re the guests of honor, the most important.
The kingdom of God is a party where white passes mashed potatoes to black. The old pull up a chair for the young. The rich pour a Coke for the poor. The healthy lift a spoon full of kung pow chicken for the weak.
I’ve seen it. The kingdom came to a Chinese restaurant in Uganda this week. (That’s a mind bender isn’t it?) Compassion International invited sponsored kids to come meet their sponsors from America. We exchanged stories and presents, laughed, cried, posed for pictures, kicked a soccer ball around and imgested much caffeine and fried food. It was heaven on earth with a side order of fried rice.
There are more verses about the poor and our responsibility to care for them in the bible than all the number on heaven and hell combined. This is important to Jesus. Sponsor a child today and get a spring roll at no additional charge…or a little piece of the kingdom in your life. Your choice.