Where do you find the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God language has recently received a revival within the American church. Often it is interpreted as a big-picture grand ideal. Also, mistakenly I believe, the church is often pitted against this Kingdom of God ideal.
It is easy to read the vision Jesus gives in the Gospels and then look at the church today and say that the church does not look like the vision Jesus gives. Unfortunately we still live in a world where sin and brokeness have a hold on us and the world around us. Whether we look to the atrocities that ISIS is committing against Christians, our own political discourse in our country, the drug problems in our town, or the state of our soul if we are truly being honest, we can see that we do not live in a world that plays by God's rules.
However, if you spend your time searching for the ideal vision of the Kingdom of God, you will ultimately be unsatisfied. Jesus teaches us to pray "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven." In other words, God may your rule be right here, right now in Shawnee, OK as it is in heaven. That's an extraordinary prayer that is prayed by ordinary people.
So where is the Kingdom of God found? The Kingdom of God is not an ideal to obtain, but rather a reality to live within. The Kingdom of God then is found in a face to face relationship with somebody. Each day we come into contact with ordinary people. People we go to work with. People we go to school with. People at the grocery store and at the Salvation Army. Even people that we go to church with. It is there in those relationships that the Kingdom of God can be found.
Each day you have a choice. I can love the people I come into contact with, or I can be indifferent at best or curse at worst. A few weeks ago we had a shooting in Shawnee. It was a tragedy. One of our church members knew the brother of the teenager who was shot. She knows where they live and was talking with her small group about it. Someone piped in maybe we should pray for the street they live on. They took it further. They decided to go prayer walk the street, and when they did they came into contact with a young man. This young man had a troubled past, but heard the message about the grace of Jesus Christ. Two weeks ago he was baptized by another local church here in town. That's extraordinary grace!
But it started with ordinary Christians doing an ordinary Christing practice - praying and then simply listening to God and sharing Jesus. When ordinary Christians do ordinary Kingdom work (praying, fasting, giving generously, etc.), God can make those ordinary practices into something extraordinary.