Friday, October 5, 2007

KoG II--Y Not?

Hello, Portland!

Kingdom of God (KoG) as good news????? Y not?

Matthew 4:18-23 slaps us upside the head. Jesus recruits Peter and Andrew, good ol' boys who fished. Peter (literally "rock") and Andrew (literally "manly guy" or "macho man") must have been quite a pair. Called by Jesus, "Rocky" and "Macho Man" leave boat, nets and bewildered Dad behind. They take off to follow an unlicensed free-lance teacher who declares that he will have them fishing for people. Can't imagine how the neighborhood tongues wagged about that scandal! Or what ol' Dad must have thought. Powerful words, "follow me".

From hauling in fish nets half naked on hot days and chopping fish heads ashore Rocky and Macho Man morphed into some kind of off-the-wall outreach committee in one fell swoop? Yeah, right! But it happened. Let's see, now.... Extreme makeover like that would require: a) getting their GED; b) 4 years of Bible college; c) 4 years of seminary including an internship in outreach. Optional: d) three years' doctoral study abroad and several years of learning Christian principles and discipline in a monastic order while writing five books. Next they invented a liturgy, wrote a hymn book, formed a band, copyrighted a logo, put out 10 CD's and went on TV. Then they built a temple and waited for the people to show up. Right?

Wrong! It's all OJT. Rocky and Macho Man go synagogue-hopping with Jesus who preaches and teaches about the good news of the KoG (kingdom of God). Then he does a mind-blowing thing. He cures all kinds of diseases, heals all kinds of conditions: physical, mental and spiritual! Right there in front of God and everybody! KoG is good news and it has immediate application in the child with ear infection and 103-degree fever. It fixes leprosy, paralysis, mental illness and the demonic darkness of depression. Good news? Ya, you betcha!

Mind-boggling! KoG is not a quaint, theoretical notion gathering dust on the shelf until Judgment Day comes. It's up-close and personal. It's on-the-fly and unpredictable. It always has a face and a name. It's immediate--but always arrives with more to come. It's something Jesus talked about in parables and then proceeded to do right in front of their eyes. KoG turned things upside-down and right-side-up. KoG fixed things and was good news to people who desperately needed good news. It's something they would participate in directly. The impact of that probably took years to soak in for Rocky, Macho Man and crew. I doubt they swallowed the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12) all in one bite either. Things take time, y'all! God's got lotsa time. Fact is, He's got it all.

KoG changed the world, and the world needs lots more of it. And Y not? Or has everything in the world suddenly become just hunky-dory overnight and only I have failed to notice? And how's the KoG happen anyway?

Next time: KoG-For-Free... or Caesar's Alternative Economic Growth Plan? U choose!

KoG blessings!

Pastor Roger

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