Listen to: Hawk Nelson "Diamonds"
The World’s financial markets have been in great flux the past few days, since the referendum in United Kingdom passed with a vote to leave the European Union. Citing concerns about immigration to foreign control of national affairs, the referendum won by a narrow margin.
While reflecting on the implications of this vote, I couldn’t help but think that as a Christian, we too hold a dual-citizenship. We all belong to the countries and ethnicities into which we are born. Yet as Christians we belong to the Kingdom of Heaven, where as Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 ”There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus’ teaching and preaching focused on Kingdom of God, in all there are about 80 references in the gospels. Being a citizen of the Kingdom means we conform our lives and our thoughts to those which are Christ-like. Paul again describes it for us like this: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)” So we are called to act with the same compassion, joy, peace that passes all understanding, the sacrificial and healing care, boldness of faith, witness and willingness to confront sin and injustice that Jesus exhibited. These are the characteristics of the Kingdom Jesus announced, lived and gave his life for. It is to these kingdom traits we are called.
This kingdom to which we are called is more precious than all the finest gems the earth can produce. Jesus noted it is worth giving everything for, that once we realize how precious it is, we would do everything in our power to retain it. “The kingdom of God is in your midst” Luke 17:21) Jesus further taught – it is not far away or remote, but in the here and now. It is found in how we choose to live, act, react to life’s circumstances around us -- today, right now. Will we be guided by kingdom values or the world’s? In this process we realize that we, by acting by Kingdom values, are turned into precious gems of the realm? Did not Jesus go to the cross to purchase us -- in his loving eyes pearls of great price, worth it all? Following his example we are love unconditionally and to give generously of ourselves to the people who need our help.
Kingdoms, nations, and earthly alliances come and go. The kingdom of God remains. Let us be joyful, active participants willing to give ourselves fully to its values and goals.
Prayer: Kingdom Lord, help us see the kingdom in our midst, indeed within our very hearts. Help us bring forth the pearls of compassion and love and other jewels befitting your kingdom’s purpose for all humanity. Amen.”