Perusing this week’s lectionary texts : What does the Reign of God look like? Whether you use the Habakkuk or Isaiah lesson, you know what it doesn’t look like — a society based on injustice, where people haven’t “learned to do good”; a society that gives lip service to God but whose spirituality is purely superficial; a society teetering on self-destruction.
But when the Reign of God breaks through…it does so in a surprising way: Not God “kicking butts and taking names”; not God patting the backs of the holy folks for jobs well done; but Jesus, God With Us, audaciously inviting himself to dinner at the home of one of the most notorious and despised characters in the community — a man as small in the virtue department as he is in the stature department.
And — bonus points for those brave souls willing to tackle the 2 Thessalonians reading, whose visions of vengeance against “evil others” seem at odds both with its own salutation of “grace and peace” and with the Gospel lesson. Perhaps an illustration of the tension, where we live, between the “now” and “not yet”?
What will you be preaching about/praying about this coming Sunday? And is anyone putting the thematic focus of your worship on All Saints’ Sunday? Discuss!