Until we’ve had more than enough, too much of our full attention has been given to politics, specifically the upcoming presidential election. Certainly important in its place, no doubt. And for many evangelical Christians today the work of the kingdom is about helping the poor and disenfranchised in this world, even more important than the election, if you can compare apples and eggs.
But the place where God is doing his kingdom work is no less than in and out from the church, both in terms of the church’s life and mission. The kingdom consists of a king, people, place, law (and directive) and life. God’s kingdom in scripture ends up being in King Jesus, of course a rich kingdom in its meaning and reality.
Today there is all kinds of debate as to what it means to be the church, what the church should be about, how God’s kingdom is related to that in the first place, etc., etc., etc. That is all well and good, and vigorous theological discussion and even debate is I think part of what it means for the church to read, pray, and think through with the goal of living out God’s will found in scripture.
But while we do that, let’s make sure we remain strong on square one. We surely have plenty to learn, and just as much need for growth in what we have been given, but we must beware of minimizing with the danger of losing out altogether on what God places front and center. It is humble and sometimes bumbling, in fact, with the likes of me, it’s going to bumble more than not. But that is where God’s work of the Spirit through the gospel in the sacramental and common life with a view to mission takes place. And in spite, I might add, of all of us. God’s Spirit in this is as alive in one faithful church or denomination, as another, and there are many- in spite of what differences we have.
The church is as important in its place as scripture itself. And much more important than the upcoming elections.