By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 2, ‘kingdom of heaven’
In my experience, people get really confused about the kingdom of God—and especially when, as we hear it here, Matthew’s distinctive language is used, ‘kingdom of heaven.’ (Folks think it has something to do with when we die, for example, which it really doesn’t.) But kingdom language is pretty much what it appears to be on the surface: God ruling as king in our world. Sure, we can still get confused about when or how—precisely because we can look around and it is not always immediately evident that God is ruling as king. But in a sense, that is exactly the point of the language: where we do not see God ruling in our world—for example, in violence and poverty, racism and genderism, exploitation and oppression—we are called to recognize our sins, confess them, and embrace the repentance that leads to that gracious rule becoming more visibly present in our lives.
Prayer King of heaven, help us to see signs of your rule in our world, and to turn ourselves and our communities toward your mercy where we do not.