One day some people asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. His answer was, “The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen. No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you”. (Luke 17:20-21)
Within you? Did you get that? These were the religious leaders that Jesus was talking to, the same ones that he called, “snakes, vipers and white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones”, and he tells them that the kingdom is within them!
We talk about a place called heaven when we die, Jesus spoke about a kingdom that is here and now and living within each of us, even the bad guys. It’s the kingdom within each of us that recognises we are all brothers and sisters. It’s the kingdom of love for one another, the kingdom that understands that God IS Love and that Love never fails.
Jesus also said, “You are the light of the world”. Christians like to appropriate these sayings for themselves, but these words of Jesus are universal in their scope. They are meant for you and me and everyone. He then went on to say we shouldn’t hide our light, he spoke of shining our light as meaning we help people, do good things, ultimately making the world a better place.
The sooner we put off our false notions of separation and realise that God IS Love and is IN everyone, and FOR everyone, the sooner we can move forward towards shining our light into the lives of our brothers and sisters. The magic is in the multiplication of this as more and more people pay it forward.
Unfortunately many Christians think the idea of making the world a better place is fruitless, after all, isn’t Jesus going to come back one day and burn it all up? Well yes, if the apocalyptic naysayers are right, but their record has been pretty poor so far, I don’t buy it.
God has placed within each of us the power to create good. If we believe the world is doomed then it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. If on the other hand we believe that God has put us here to help our brothers and sisters, and if every day, more and more people work towards this goal, then we really can change the world for the better.
The kingdom of God is within you, don’t hide your light, let it shine for the entire world to see.
Arise, shine; for your light is come. Isaiah 60:1