the kingdom is near

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Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

The Kingdom of God is near.

Close.

Just around the corner. Right behind you. In the palm of your hand.

Philosopher and theologian Peter Rollins has written about the immanence of God, and the transcendence of God. God is transcendent when God is King of the Universe, above and beyond, filling all things. God is immanent when God is right beside you, leading you, guiding you, along the way. When God is transcendent, God is obscured. When God is imminent, it’s like he’s sitting on your shoulder, completely approachable.

Rollins, unsatisfied with these two options, coins a new term: hypernymity.

Similar to the anonymity of transcendence, but anonymous – obscured from view – not because God is so far away, but because God is so incredibly close.

Have you ever had a child desperate to show you some piece of art they created – and they come over to you and push it right up into your face? You can’t see it. You can’t make anything of it at all.

But, not because it’s too far away. But rather, because it is too close. You have to move it a foot or more away from your face before you can begin to make it out.

The Kingdom of God is near. Close. So close that its closeness may just be what obscures it from view.

Stay where you are, and with your eyes closed locate yourself within the Kingdom of God.

Find yourself immersed in it.

Find yourself saturated in it.

It surrounds you on all sides. It fills every cell of your body.

Feel its warmth.

Feel it’s light.

Feel it’s love.

Feel it’s compassion.

Feel it’s urge towards justice.

Feel it compel you to love your neighbor.

Feel it draw you to bring peace to the world.

Let it work on you. Shape you. Nudge you. Form you.

Draw from it the courage you need to be a citizen of this Kingdom of God.

Know that anytime you feel scared, lost, depressed, angry, confused… you can always close your eyes and return right here.

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella