Jesus' central mission revolved around preaching, proclaiming, embracing, and enacting the Kingdom of God. In a world marked by domination and injustice, he emphasised the imminent rule and reign of the Father.
This divine government, an alternative Empire, offered, among other aspects, a social, political, and economic revolution—a great reversal in which those rejected and placed on the margins would now have a place at the table. Meanwhile, those who held the seats of power and hoarded wealth, acting as gatekeepers of the status quo, would find themselves relegated.
We need to be reminded that Jesus, who said
‘Blessed are the poor,’
‘Woe to you who are Rich!’
The Kingdom focus, along with its accompanying social, economic, and political theology and praxis, should also be significant for those who've answered Jesus' call to 'Follow Me'.
Yet, in some Christian expressions, this vital aspect of Jesus' ministry is diminished, relegated to a marginal note or gloss, often seen as an inconsequential historical footnote that can be overlooked by contemporary Christian expressions of spirituality.
The results, seemingly clear and unsurprising, yield a mutated expression of the Christian faith that fails to resemble Jesus, and instead supports and aligns comfortably with consumerism, unrestrained capitalism, and the hoarding of wealth.
Given this, and with a sense of urgency— for the unholy trinity of individualism, unrestrained capitalism, and consumerism is propelling us towards an unlivable future— we need to rearticulate the Christian faith in a manner that reflects and realigns with the Jesus of history and the kingdom he proclaimed.
In other words, in response to Jesus, who proclaimed ‘The Kingdom of God is at Hand,’ we need to be those who ‘Repent and Believe.’