Where is the kingdom of God?
The ancient Israelites as well as the Greeks saw the divine and the heavenly realm as distinctly separate from the earthly realm (Gen 1:1, 2:1). Likewise, the Greek notion of the divine (the primary mover) was something static and unchanging; and outside or beyond the corruptible and changeable earth. Both perspectives saw God and heaven as transcendent.
But the Gospel writers were trying to describe something totally new. In the person of Jesus Christ, they saw an incarnational God; an immanent God. In describing the Kingdom of God, they struggled to reconcile their traditional Hebraic and Greek philosophical views of the divine with their personal revelatory experience of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God. Mark and Luke described the Kingdom as something nearby (e.g., Mk. 1:15, Lk. 10:9-11). Luke however, also described the Kingdom as something within each one of us (Lk. 17:21). In contrast, John described Jesus’ kingdom as something not of this world. Such apparently contrasting views confound and disappoint someone seeking to determine the literal location of the Kingdom of God. And that is entirely the point.
The incarnation of Jesus as a manifestation of the God who is with us is perhaps the fundamental point of Christianity. Jesus was both divine (transcendent) and human (immanent) who taught us that the Kingdom is within our grasp if we can learn to love God with all our soul, with all our heart, and with all our mind, and to love our neighbors as our self. God’s Kingdom is less a place or an idea than it is a total commitment to love one another, for it is through our love of one another that we become the agents of God willing to work to bring about God’s Kingdom on the earth in the present time. That Kingdom is a union of free human beings united to God and to each other; it is the fullest manifestation of the transcendent holiness and incarnate wholeness of Being. The Kingdom is already here, yet is still to come, and it will come by God’s grace with the free cooperation of the human race.
—The Rev. Bill Stroop
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. Our practice is to make ourselves ready for the kingdom so that it can manifest in the here and the now.
You don't need to die in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, you have to be truly alive in order to do so. It's not too difficult. Just breathe in and bring your mind back to your body. That is the practice of mindfulness.
from "Walking with Peace and Presence”
To set the world right means to make the world a better place. It may surprise us to know that when Jesus tells us, his disciples, to pray for the coming of the kingdom, he means the outer conditions of the world as much, if not more, than in human hearts. Jesus was a social activist; he died to set the world right.
It seems to me that he would be urging us today to act for justice, to speak up for better schools, to get to the core of the causes of poverty and addiction. Jesus would tell us to talk more about peace and less about war. To build weapons of massive peace initiatives while we take action to protect innocent people from mass destruction. It is not always comfortable to raise these issues, but as Barbara Taylor says, "Jesus needs followers, not admirers."
—Mimsy Jones, from "Your Kingdom Come"
Jesus said: "The Kingdom of God is within." God's calm is within us, where we may find the "peace which passes all understanding." In the heart of a raging storm, our seas can be still, as we seek and find that special, sacred place/space where God centers and surrounds us in the sanctuary of God's love and protection. That is the only place there has ever been true safety, security and predictability. Ever.