Kingdom Pledges - A Sermon Excerpt
I Am Citizen of the Kingdom of God
We have to understand that the kingdom of God is a real kingdom. It’s a reality—not a metaphor or an analogy or a fantasy or a vapor. It is as real as any country or nation. In this kingdom, God reigns. And where God reigns, mercy and love, peace, justice and righteousness—shalom—defines existence. The kingdom of God is a reality that is characterized by the end of tears and mourning and pain and suffering. Jesus is Lord in the kingdom of God.
And the redeemed from all tribes and nations make up its diverse, global citizenry. God’s kingdom of peace, justice and salvation is real, folks; which makes any and all who call upon the name of the Lord real citizens.
Now the uniqueness of God’s kingdom is that it’s within and over all other kingdoms; its citizens are spread all over the world, living as aliens and strangers in China, Brazil, Kenya, the Ukraine, the Middle East, the UK, the Philippines, the US—there are fellow kingdom citizens in all of these places. So this is the kingdom: a diffuse, worldwide reality that reflects God’s shalom today and forever. And we are its citizens.
So, how do we practice our kingdom citizenship? Psalm 101 offers a beginning. From that psalm, which many scholars speculate as the text from David when he was inaugurated as king, can be formed a number of pledges for kingdom citizens.
As citizens of the kingdom of God:
We pledge complete allegiance to God and God's purposes, and no other;
We will walk with integrity, modeling the change we wish to see in the world;
We will cry out against injustice and evil, and will not keep silent;
We will affirm justice and righteousness when we see it; and
We will be proactive in works of justice and righteousness.