“To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” -Revelation 1:5b-6
Dear Saints, We are a kingdom. Revelation says we are a kingdom made up of loved and freed people. Our citizenship is not defined by our zip code, our rank or our status. We belong to the Kingdom of God because we are loved and freed. Our citizenship is not an obligation, not a constituency, not a paid membership. It is a gift. The gift of the kingdom was given purely out of the love of the Father, pouring out from the heart of the Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The question this Christ the King Sunday is: Do we live as though we are a kingdom? Recognizing the Kingdom is first and foremost about priorities. It’s about letting our actions, decisions, words and even desires reflect the fact that God is our King, and no one else. Kingdom living is about putting God first. But then after that, it’s about gratitude. Living as though we are a kingdom means recognizing and giving thanks for the GIFTS of the kingdom.
The first gift of the kingdom is the Lord. Our King knows us by name and welcomes us, despite our faults, failings and fears. The next gift of the kingdom is love. We belong, not because of what we have done, but because of God’s overflowing love. After love is the gift of freedom. We are free from sin, free from self-doubt, free from judgment, free from societal pressures, free to be and to love and to serve. If we know that we are truly loved, then we can be truly free. Then comes the gift of family. To be a kingdom means to be a part of the family of God. We are surrounded by, prayed for, in partnership with and supported by the great cloud of witnesses in Christ.
This Christ the King Sunday, we rejoice that together, we get to live out one little slice of the kingdom of heaven come to earth. This Thanksgiving, despite all the stresses and pressures around us, we are free to overflow with gratitude for the FREE GIFTS of the kingdom. Thanks be to God!