What would you say to the idea that we are being called by our Lord and Savior to improvise the story of His Kingdom? Jesus says in Luke 4 that he's come to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. That's why he was sent. Jesus’ primary mission is His kingdom.
And we know from the scriptures, from Isaiah Chapter 9, for example, that this is a king that brings justice and peace, that is, shalom over every square inch of the cosmos. The primary message of Jesus Christ is that he's the king of kings and Lord of Lords. And we are called to seek first that kingdom. There is not a square inch in this entire universe over which Jesus does not declare mine, in the words of Abraham Kuyper.
The reality of it is it's not that clear how you go from the Book of Deuteronomy and gleaning laws there to living in the 21st century in the global marketplace. The truth is, we don't know. We know the beginning of the story. We know the end of the story is a great banquet feast, a great potluck where we reign with Christ as restored priests and kings. But there's a lot in the middle that we don't know very much about.
And that's the chapter we're living right now. We just don't know exactly what it looks like. So, what we're called to do is to improvise the kingdom. We don't have a detailed script. But what we have from the Bible are prompts that God gives us and then we get to improvise around those prompts in all kinds of fun and creative ways. So, there's a sense in which we are improvising a kingdom, improvising a way of being in the world that we haven't fully seen yet.
There's a lot of freedom to enjoy that. You may be a person who kind of wants to know the recipe and the formula, who wants to have it all laid out. But it's still possible to find a lot of joy in this idea that we're a new creature in Christ, that we're filled with the Holy Spirit, that we're united to the person of Jesus Christ, and that we get to live into the grand story of his kingdom in new and creative ways. We can find ourselves open to new questions, to new ways of thinking. We can think outside the box. We can fail. We can screw it up. We can try again. It's a different way of being in the world.
Dr. Brian Fikkert is the founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development, a research and training center that is dedicated to helping churches and missionaries to declare the kingdom of God by bringing economic development and spiritual transformation to the poor.