Signs of the Kin-Dom
A few weeks back we introduced a different term for the encroaching world of God’s dreaming that Jesus preaches of in the Gospel of Mark: the “Kin-dom of God,” instead of the “Kingdom of God.”
Most of us have heard sermons and Sunday school lessons on the Kingdom of God for most of our lives and so it’s easy for it to become background noise. Jesus speaks of this new world of God’s dreaming as something bold and controversial meant to excite our imaginations, and so it may be that new language is necessary to for this to remain true for us.
“Kin-dom”—as in “next of kin”—points to this new world as one of family and wholeness in our relationships. “Kingdom” is not a word we use much any more outside of history books and fairy tales. When we think of current kingdoms, most monarchs are symbolic tabloid fodder and the others are tyrants. Neither is helpful in imagining the kind of world Jesus says is at hand.
But “kin-dom?” Now that may be just odd and familiar enough to do the trick.
Images of family.
Long dinner tables with all the leaves put in.
Distant relatives you haven’t seen in forever.
Some you’ve never met before.
More than enough food.
The hardships of family.
The challenges of family.
The hope for reconciliation.
Wholeness in the end.
Over these next few weeks, we’ll take a look at passages from Mark that speak to what this new family of God’s people will look like also what it will require of us.
And it’s good that we started this past Sunday with the familiar story of when Jesus was approached by the “rich young ruler” who wants to know what he must do to enter into this kin-dom. It was appropriate not just because Jesus often speaks of the risk of material wealth and how it keeps us from fully embracing this kin-dom of which he speaks. But also because we’re entering into stewardship season here at the church and will be having hard but necessary conversations about our financial health.
You’ll be receiving more from our budget committee in the mail and we’ll gather next Sunday for breakfast over the Sunday school hour to discuss these things. We’ll meet again to discuss further at our church conference on Wednesday, October 24.
Jesus says elsewhere in the gospels “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Talking about matters of the heart is not easy, but our faith teaches us it’s essential, for the heart is where this kin-dom we hope for is found.