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Nakusp Garden

But you are a chosen generation,

a royal priesthood,

a holy nation,

a peculiar people;

that you may declare the praises of Him

who called you out of darkness

into His marvellous light.

(1 Peter 2:9)

 

Paul’s Mystery

God has chosen to make known this great message, which had for long ages been a complete secret. It is an unprecedented, radically inclusive message. It is not just for the Jewish people but for people of all cultures. The secret is unspeakably rich and glorious, and here it is—the secret message, the mystery of the kingdom of God: that Christ the King indwells you, which means that his kingdom is within and among you here and now. This secret message—Christ the King in and among us here and now—invites us into a reconciled and reconciling movement and expanding network of relationships. This is the glorious hope for which we have all been waiting for so long.

 

The Kingdom Manifesto

Be poor in spirit, mourn, be meek, hunger and thirst for true righteousness, be merciful, be pure in heart, be a peace-maker, be willing to joyfully suffer persecution and insult for doing what is right.

Be salt and light in the world—by doing good works.

Do not hate or indulge in anger, but instead seek to reconcile.

Do not lust or be sexually unfaithful in your heart.

Do not presume to make vows, but have simple speech, where yes means yes and no, no.

Do not get revenge, but find creative and nonviolent ways to overcome evil done to you.

Love your enemies, as God does, and be generous to everyone, as God is.

Give to the poor, pray, and fast secretly.

Don’t let greed cloud your outlook, but store up treasure in heaven through generosity.

Don’t worry about your own daily needs, but instead trust yourself to God’s care, and seek God’s kingdom first and foremost.

Don’t judge others, but instead first work on your own blindness.

Go to God with all your needs, knowing that God is a caring Father.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Don’t be misled by religious talk; what counts is actually living by Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus reinforces this last point—that he’s looking for action, not just agreement—in the final words of the manifesto:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!                 (Matthew 7:24-27 NRSV)

The Secret Message of Jesus: By Brian D. McLaren

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