Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.’
Then he said to the disciples, ‘The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, “Look there!” or “Look here!” Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation.’
Today is the day on which we remember and give thanks for the sacrifice of so many human lives in the cause of freedom. Today, we recollect the horror of war, and we pray for peace between all nations and peoples.
As we reflect upon the inhumanity that human beings constantly show to one another, we might well find ourselves asking the question: ‘Where is the kingdom of God that Jesus claims to be among us now?’
The reality is that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, God’s beloved, brought us into that kingdom, for the whole of eternity.
At the moment of creation, God created perfection. All that we see in this world was created by God, the one who is perfect. The climax of the act of creation was the moulding of a creature in God’s own, perfect, image … human beings. God set those first human beings in the midst of the paradise, the perfect order, he had created, the Garden of Eden. Sadly, even those first human beings proved to have a capacity to sin and to focus on their own desires in a way that distanced them from God, and caused Paradise to be lost.
Much later in the history of humanity, and after many attempts to bring about a reconciliation between himself and humankind, God took the extreme step of entering this world himself in the form of his Son, Jesus Christ. God did not give up on the humanity he had created in his own image. Instead, God sought to prove that there is a kingdom in which we might all recapture the beauty of the earliest of days.
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ, which we will be celebrating in just a few weeks, was a new chance for all of us, no matter how flawed and imperfect we might be. Jesus came into this world to bring forgiveness, healing and renewal. Jesus came into this world to bring us into the kingdom of God.
But … we are still human, and we still cling on to all the negativity that we have allowed to evolve since the dawn of time. We have become so good at defacing God’s vision for humanity that we have turned destruction and warfare into an ‘art form’. Let us pray that on this day of remembrance we might find the strength to turn our backs on all that is negative and recognize that the kingdom of God is really among us.
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