We want the kingdom but reject the King
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day, we celebrate a dream. A dream of peace. Of equality. Of unity. One of justice and love. The reason we have a day set aside to remember Dr. King is because he is no longer with us. Though his dream lives on, the man himself was rejected by the opposing factor and gunned down.
As I listen and watch the world around me it becomes ever more apparent that the dream that Dr. King cast as a vision for all of humanity still lives on. I sit, perched in my writing window with my Cubano while listening to NPR before the sun peaks over the mountain top. The world is struggling to find ways to live out that dream. Congress is at a loss. Environmental activists are struggling. Women's rights and gender equality crusaders seem to find no footing. War continues.
Outside of a dream of man is Kingdom. A dream is something fathomed of the imagination that is hoped to be lived out. This Kingdom is real, tangible, and attainable. The Kingdom that Jesus spoke about was one where justice rules. The poor are served by the wealthy. War doesn't exist as enemies are blessed and prayed for, while offended cheeks turn. It's a Kingdom of equality and unity. He ushered in a Kingdom where the first shall be last and the greatest would be least, a kingdom of humility and meekness, though powerful. The Kingdom that Jesus taught us to seek and to pray for its arrival is attainable to anyone. It's offered as a free gift of salvation from addiction, depression, and hopelessness.
Why on earth has this Kingdom gone without universal acceptance?!
The people of earth want this Kingdom but not it's King.
He is rejected, despised, and voted out. Jesus, the man responsible for offering all that the world continues to seek, is only accepted as a moral influencer, not a moral authority. To have moral action of entire people, there must be a moral authority. Individual morality is subjective at best, based on cultural and social upbringing. Yes, there is universal morality; I think everyone knows it's wrong to kill, steal, and lie. But we still do it. We can hold up signs, march, and shout idealistic rhetoric from the top of our lungs, but unless there is a real moral authority, a King of the Kingdom, then we remain struggling and fighting one another over the establishment of our own "kingdoms".
Ironically, everything humanity is longing for is found in a slain King. Unlike the Doctor Reverend, this King is alive and able to declare justice and righteousness to broken and hurting world.