Isaiah's Earthly Hopes

Here is a repost of Trisha Tull's October 2016 column for Working Preacher, an online lectionary resource for Christian pastors.

When religious leaders asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come -- when Judea could exchange violent Roman rule for benevolent divine rule -- he replied, “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” (Luke 17:20-21).

In other words, God reigns not just in the imagination’s brighter hope, but in the messy reality now, here, where we can actually make choices and carry them out. Though Jesus never seemed satisfied that his listeners were getting it, he frequently presented God’s reign as fully manifest on earth, even in an occupied nation, even in troubled days.

So why do Christians so quickly discard the gifts we have and long for something else?

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