Thursday, June 16, 2011

Teachings and values of the kingdom

I am slowly working my way through Eric Swanson and Sam Williams' book To Transform A City. It's good, I just haven't had the time to blog much about it (nor the desire - which is a post in itself). At any rate, on pp. 76-77 they have a section they call "Teachings and Values of the Kingdom." They say...
The kingdom of God is a place where worldly values are turned upside down and things are not as we expect them to be. One of the clearest places to catch a glimpse of these unexpected values is in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:17-49). Since he is the king of the kingdom, we will assume that whatever Jesus values is a kingdom value and whatever Jesus taught is kingdom teaching... we offer the following summary of select kingdom values, drawn from the teachings of Jesus.
  • Children are valued and held in high esteem (Matt. 18:1-4; Mark 10:14).
  • The poor are blessed and given a place of honor (Luke 6:20).
  • Servanthood is valued over power (Matt. 20:20-28).
  • We love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:27-28).
  • It's a life where we treat others as we wish ourselves to be treated (Luke 6:31).
  • It's a life of peacemaking (Matt. 5:9).
  • It's a life filled with faith and free from worry (Matt. 6:25-34).
  • It's a life of giving (Matt. 6:1-4).
  • It's a life of prayer (Matt. 6:5-14; 7:7-12).
  • It's a life of love (Matt. 5:43-48).
  • It's a life of forgiveness (Matt. 6:14; 18:21-35).
  • It's a life where marriage is honored (Matt. 5:27-32; 19:3-9).
  • It's a life of reconciliation (Matt. 5:23-26; Luke 15:11-31).
  • It's a life of good deeds (Matt. 5:16).
  • It's a life of honesty (Matt. 5:33-37).
  • It's a life of good neighboring (Luke 10:25-37).
These values are a sample of what is most attractive when people live together the way God intended them to live...

At the beginning of the next section they start off...
Kingdom work involves two aspects. It involved introducing people to the King (Jesus), and it involves bringing his perspective, his values, and his generative structures into the world in which we live. It's about being active participants in answering the prayer, 'Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'

Hmm... Yeah... is that what the church looks like? I wish. And hope. And pray.