An OTHER Reading

an other kingdom.jpg

We've heard it all our lives.  Jesus announced 2,000 years ago that God's Kingdom is "at hand."  Well...how long are we supposed to wait?  What does the image of "kingdom" even mean for those of us who have lived our whole lives in a democratic republic?  How do we understand Jesus' teachings of "kingdom" and how those teachings challenge and influence our daily lives?  

Beginning Thursday, May 17, at 10:00a.m. our Reading the Journey group will meet each week at that time, in the upstairs of our Parish House, to read a new text that helps us get at these ancient questions.  It's called "An Other Kingdom," by a trio of Biblical scholars and social theorists: Peter Block, (the UCC's own) Walter Brueggemann, and John McKnight.  

This short book, which we will read together on Thursday mornings, compares the "kingdom" that has ruled the world for most of our lives, which they describe as "consumer culture," with Jesus' concept of God's kingdom, which they describe as "neighborliness."  They closely examine many aspects of our society and our world which are built around supporting and promoting "consumer culture," and then they offer Jesus' critique through the lens of "neighborliness," simply asking: How does the practice of neighborliness challenge and correct the ills of our society and our world?  

What we discover in the reading is that there is no "pie in the sky," unrealistic view of "heaven on earth."  In their understanding of who God is and what Jesus calls us to do as his followers, these 3 thinkers offer very concrete, very specific, very practical alternatives for the unsustainable world that consumerism has helped to build in the last half century.  It's a fascinating comparison, and it will lead us into life-giving conversation with one another.  You can join us once or every week, and you don't need to bring anything except yourself and your point of view as a Beloved Child of God.  See you there! 

Brian Gruhn