Jesus came to Galilee,
proclaiming the good news of God, and saying,
“The time is fulfilled,
and the empire of God has come near;
repent, and believe in the good news.”
The Realm of God is the reality of God’s rule,
God’s desire for fullness of life for all living beings,
God’s realm of infinite grace:
fundamental, unconditional, and open to everyone.
God’s Empire is absolute. Grace is as non-negotiable as gravity.
The Empire of God
directly opposes the Roman Empire and all empires.
To repent is to renounce our loyalty to other empires,
to stop cooperating with systems
that pretend to regulate God’s grace,
that claim blessing for some and not others.
To believe the good news
is to shuck off our blinders of fear and shame,
to shed the sword and shield of having to be good enough,
and, empty-handed, trust the grace given us.
Everything Jesus did, every word and deed,
was to connect people with God’s life-giving grace,
to heal the wounds of separation,
and to undermine systems of exclusion.
When Jesus says “Follow me”
he means to do this.
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