Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Repent! Epiphany 3

"Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand," says the Lord in this Sunday's Gospel (Matthew 4:12-23).

Is it? 

Looking around, especially if you watch any TV, you would hardly believe that the kingdom of peace and love is about to descend upon our world. Yet here is Jesus, boldly telling us that it is just around the corner.

So, where is it, then?

Well, for a start, Galilee. That is where Jesus went straight after proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom. It would sound funnier if you were a first century Palestinian. Galilee was a place regarded as an uncivilised backwater where everyone spoke with a daft accent. In other words, Dudley (I can just about get away with saying that because my family is from round there). That's right, the kingdom of God is coming first to Dudley. 

You get the point that Jesus is making here. The kingdom of God is coming to the places that the cultured classes consider most irrelevant, to the people they sneer and jeer at. 

If we want it to come among us, then we need to humble ourselves: to accept being rejected, mocked and taunted, as Jesus was. Perhaps we also need (and I should take my own advice here!) to take ourselves a bit less seriously — but other people more so. 

Repent, allow God truly to turn your heart, and the seed of the kingdom will grow there, whoever or whatever you are.

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