I want to remember my citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Lent Week 2, Day 8
“This world is not my home, I’m just a-passin’ through….”
I wonder if we really mean that. The song in its original form was a call to focus us towards heaven. What a great place that will be. This earth is just temporary. It is not our home. We are just visitors here.
But based on the church’s behavior, especially in the western world, I don’t think we believe this to be true. I think we very much believe this is our home and we are willing to go to many extreme, unchristian, lengths to protect it.
We call for walls to be built to keep people out.
We lie about groups of people to make ourselves feel better.
We turn our eyes when children are gunned down and say that more unlicensed guns are the answer.
We yell at people who do not act patriotic enough for our liking.
We claim that our political party gets it right and truly acts the way Jesus would have if Jesus was an American.
We throw around the term, “If you don’t like it, get out,” to those who disagree with us.
For people who sing this isn’t our home, we sure do act territorial.
What would it look like if we remembered that our life here is temporary?
Knowing that kingdoms and countries rise and fall, how would that change our perception of our patriotism?
Knowing that we are called to love our neighbors, how would that change the way we perceive our neighbors who vote differently?
Knowing that we have been told to care for the widows, orphans, and foreigners, how would that change the way we feel about social safety net programs?
Knowing that we have not been promised safety and security, how does that change the ways we think about our safety and security?
Knowing that Jesus intentionally selected an employee of the government and a radical devoted to killing employees of the government to be in the same group of people, how does that affect the ways we perceive people who disagree with us?
Knowing that Jesus touched lepers, spoke to foreign women, and said the kingdom belonged to powerless, status-less children, how does that change the ways we view people cast to the margins of our society?
If we want to sing about having a home in the kingdom we must start looking at how our lives measure up to that kingdom’s principles.
And I must begin with me.
Am I kind? Am I patient? Am I listening? Am I working with others? Am I focused on people or am I more focused on proving I am better than you because I am pretending to be focused on people?
Because I can blame all those other people for singing a song they are not living up to. But that really just means I’m guilty of the same thing. This world, while it might be my temporary home, is not the kingdom I am a part of. And I must live by that kingdom’s standards.