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The Coming of the Kingdom, Luke 17:20-37

God's Kingdom

The unknown can be scary. Jesus proclaimed the coming of God's kingdom, and it was scary. They envisioned hell fire and brimstone, and the wiping out of masses of people. But Jesus knew that God's kingdom was not just something unknown that will come in a terrifying blaze of fire. The kingdom Jesus proclaimed was, and is, this kingdom. Our planet. Our earth. The coming of the kingdom wasn't a future heavenly world that would be unrecognizable. The kingdom is this world, recreated after the death and resurrection of Christ. This kingdom is a brilliant field of flowers after a long winter. It is one person reaching out to help another. It is being vulnerable and fearless. It is living faith in the midst of an illness. It is loving when loving is hard.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Luke 17:20-37

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”