The kingdom is real and present in our lives, if we will rest in God; it is, in a way, a parallel universe to our “real” world; it operates under the rule of love; it is ever forming a true community where everyone is welcome; it is the world where the Holy Spirit reigns in love; it is a state of heart and mind, not a physical place; and we all have the potential to live there and a lot to contribute there. I am sure that what I have tried to describe about the kingdom over these past five weeks is just the beginning of what the Holy Spirit is trying to convey to all of us.
What I haven’t as yet stressed is that it is in each of us living out the purpose of our unique creation that we help to bring about the kingdom in this “real” world. I believe that God needs us to live out our purpose, to love in the unique way we’ve been made for, to show by how we live that the kingdom is real and in the here and now. Jesus certainly modeled how to live in the kingdom. There have been some other models, saints we call them, known and unknown, who over the centuries have lived their purpose. Now it’s our time—yours and mine–to promote the kingdom in our own unique way.
What could be more essential in the world that we know today, a world where tensions seem to escalate daily, where no one feels secure, where we humans have the capacity and some the desire to destroy the world or parts of it. We are being called to live out our purpose and potential in order to model God’s love here. If there were a hundred of us who love God, self and others, what impact would it have on the earth? If there were a thousand? What then? What if we Christians loved each other? Wouldn’t that bring out a whole different dynamic in the world?
Up until now we’ve been dependent on one person, a Jesus or a saint, to show us how. Now is the age of the common man and woman. We cannot depend on a leader to bring all this about. They have already modeled the way. We have to take our lives seriously and live the potential God implanted in us. What a force for good and for love that would be if hundreds or thousands would realize their potential, their purpose!
The kingdom is not meant to be a feel-good place; it is a do-good-with-the-spirit-of-love place. When enough of us are willing to love as we were created to love, and do what we were created to do with love, then the kingdom will be visible, prominent even, in the “real” world. It would hold sway as others saw the beauty and fulfillment and joy of numbers of people living out their purpose. They would know us “by our love” as the hymn says and learn how to love from us, to feel this love in the aggregate for each person. Wow! what a different world that would be!
Here’s how the German poet Rilke describes what stands between us and the kingdom
“Between us there is but a narrow wall,
and by sheer chance; for it would take
merely a call from your lips or from mine
to break it down,
and that without a sound.
The wall is builded of your images.
They stand before you hiding you like names…”
Be the kingdom. Live your purpose. Be true to yourself and to your God. NOW!
Questions to ponder over the week: What is the narrow wall between you and God? What images of yours stand in the way? Will you call out to God to break it down?
 Eds. Mary Rose Bumpus and Rebecca Bradburn Langer, Supervision of Spiritual Directors, Morehouse Publishing, New York, 2005, p. 126-7, quote from Rainer Maria Rilke.