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The Times They Are A-Changing

A few thoughts about the Kingdom.

In the life and work of the Messiah from Nazareth, the long-anticipated 'age to come' is breaking into the present. The current world order, 'business as usual,' with its systems and structures of domination, will be overturned as the great reversal takes place.

The times, they are a-changing.

The Kingdom of God, proclaimed and enacted by Jesus, is to be embodied and lived out by his followers so that the ekklesia, the community (not the building), becomes the portal to the 'age to come' – the thin space where heaven touches earth.

In a broken world, the church serves as the beachhead of God's purposes for the world, creating a new humanity where the vision and values of the age to come become manifest.

The ekklesia represents the values of the kingdom inasmuch as it aligns with the mission of Jesus as a community of kindness that offers a radical welcome to the poor and marginalized.

In a dysfunctional world seemingly under the control of the forces of domination, the church, in alignment with the kingdom, offers a beacon of hope that is good news for the poor and a challenge to the oppressors.

The times, they are a-changing.

As a multifaceted symbol of grace, compassion, and mercy, the reign and rule of God extend across various spheres of life, bringing blessings to individuals and communities through spiritual, social, biophysical, economic, and ecological transformation.

The kingdom is good news to the poor and destitute but comes with a challenge and a warning to those who are stakeholders, guardians, and beneficiaries of the current world order.

The times, they are a-changing.

Charles Taylor coined the phrase 'social imaginary' to describe a shared social life, a web of meanings and structures that guide individual and public life. In response to this, we may suggest that the message Jesus proclaimed and embodied offered a revolutionary alternative social imaginary to his own cultural context; he provided a new map with a new telos.

It is no wonder that the gatekeepers of 'business as usual,' if the status quo, resisted his alternative empire and put him to death.

We live in a culture that we may describe as secular late-stage capitalism, coupled with heightened individualism and a distrust of authority.

It is a deeply dangerous age for a multitude of reasons, including the mental fragility of the younger generation, the polarization of mainstream politics, and, above all, the very real risk of societal collapse due to climate and ecological breakdown.

We need a new map, a new social imaginary.

As the church, we are intimately bound to both the Messiah and his compassionate kingdom.

We have a true myth, a true story to tell, a new social imaginary rooted in the announcement and actuality of Jesus.

A story that is pregnant with the possibility and potential to create a new humanity, to enact the change we most desperately need.

The times they are a-changing.

The Revolution is at hand.

Repent, Reimagine, Reorientate,

And believe the good news.


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