Citizens of God’s Kingdom

July 7, 2013


I’ve been thinking about hospitality and citizenship this past week. Monday was Canada Day, the day when Canadians celebrate Canada’s birthday. Thursday was the 4th of July, the day when Americans celebrate their independence. I’ve been following the convention in Phoenix, knowing the youth would be sharing about their experience this morning. The convention theme was Citizens of God’s Kingdom. And I’ve been pondering this passage in Luke, where Jesus sends out the 70 (or 72, depending which ancient manuscript you give weight to) with the message that the kingdom of God is near.

So I’ve been pondering citizenship and its implications for hospitality and what it means to be a citizen in this world and a citizen of God’s kingdom. Theologically, Mennonites have said that we are in the world, but not of the world, and I think it is important to strive for that, to not let the ways of the world determine our values and the ways in which we live in this world. But practically, there is a lot about us that is also of this world. We all benefit from a pretty good standard of living in this country, and even have come to expect it. We own houses, cars, and other kinds of property and materials that don’t necessarily differentiate us from others around us. We look and dress like ‘the world’. So in many ways we are in the world and we are of the world.

Bible References

  • Luke 10:1 - 11
  • Luke 10:16 - 20