Monday, February 22, 2010

Life in the Two Kingdoms

"A person has to be thoroughly disgusted with the way things are to find the motivation to set out on the Christian way. As long as we think the next election might eliminate crime and establish justice or another scientific breakthrough might save the environment or another pay raise might push us over the edge of anxiety to a life of tranquility, we are not likely to risk the arduous uncertainties of the life of faith. A person has to get fed up with the ways of the world before he, before she, acquires an appetite for the world of grace."
~Eugene Peterson

I must admit that I found myself caught up in the hype of the Obama presidential campaign...and I knew better. Now don't get me wrong, I still believe he was the best candidate for the job. I still believe that people like him can begin to right some of the wrongs of this country and world, can move our nation toward justice and equity for all. I still believe that people like Bono and Jeffrey Sachs can move us toward the elimination of global poverty. I still believe that governments and institutions can, and should, be instruments for good in this world. I just can't buy into the hype, though, the empty promises inherent in any kingdom of the world.

I put my trust, rather, in the kingdom of God. I trust that the upside-down way of life that Jesus put on display for the world will ultimately transform this world. I have seen enough to know that by giving up all that I have, I will have so much more, and so will everyone else. I have seen enough to know that loving my enemies and praying for those who persecute me will always result in less bloodshed than a life of seeking revenge and redemption through violence. I have seen enough to know that the way of Jesus Christ is the best possible way of living and that I would give my life to this dangerous, compelling existence any day over an allegiance to even the best possible kingdom of the world. I choose the world of grace.

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