In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Now the clocks have changed and the nights are beginning to draw in, my mind is beginning to turn towards Christmas – in fact, I’ve already recorded our first Christmas carol! But there is another public ‘celebration’ to mark before then, today’s Bonfire Night, a chance to remember Guy Fawkes and the plot to blow up the Houses of Westminster. Remembering this event throws up all sorts of tensions – the tensions between Protestants and Catholics, tensions between England and Scotland, and the tension between the government we have and the government we want (I’m typing this on Wednesday with all the contemporary political goings on in the USA, which makes that last phrase feel very relevant). Of course, recent terrorist activity also might make us think a little different about that historical event and its import today.
As Christians, we are also people looking to a different political life and system. We want revolution, but a different type of revolution – our hope is in God’s Kingdom – not just in some future eternity after death, but also in the here and now, made possible through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the politics of radical love and grace and humility – seeking to live, and serve as he did.
Spirit, help us embrace and live the Kingdom life today.