Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Constitution of the Upside-Down Kingdom

Keith Dow, husband to Darcie Dow who is the good friend of my sister-in-law Heidi (got that?) wrote the following Constitution of the Kingdom of Jesus.  I hope it stirs you:

Constitution of the Upside-Down Kingdom

We the people of the upside-down Kingdom proclaim a revolution of repentance. We will no longer be conformed to the counterfeit-power of politics but will stand transformed in the resurrection-power of the Prince of Peace. We bear witness to His strength made perfect in weakness and the joy that is perfected in suffering. His Kingdom dwells among the dead and the dying, the wounded and the helpless; for it is not the healthy that need a doctor and not it is not the living that need new life.

We refuse to legislate life and death but instead join in the death-to-life renewal that begins with poverty of spirit and ends in richness of faith. It is not we who decide where the sun shines or the rain falls, nor do we bless or curse. The gavel of judgment is too heavy for our feeble human hands to hold.

We renounce the world as it has been told to us, the world of kings and princes, and look instead to the world of slaves and paupers, of widows and orphans. Here the least are the greatest and these are our masters, our monarchs. From the eyes of the one without a home a palace is commissioned. From the whisper of a muted voice, a herald is ordained. As I look into the soul of my neighbour-other, my response signs my soul. It is at this moment that I proclaim or betray my allegiance to the Kingdom of repentance.

We reclaim the back alleys, the crack houses, and the minefields as holy ground. We sanctify the shelters, the ghettos, and the street-corner grates. Our war is not with flesh-and-blood, but within each kingdom-citizen. We obliterate indifference and apathy. We attack hatred, spite, and judgement. Even the will to justice succumbs to its fulfillment in mercy, and other-love submerges a legion of sins.

We mourn together the loss of the garden, the birth of god-lust, and the claiming of the power of good and evil. It is only the fruit of life that fills famished souls, not knowledge-power wielded over one another. As Adams and as Eves together we stumble back to the gardens of humankind, tending to the withering and dying and tearing out the weed of desire to be divine found festering in each soul.

We demand no earthly King and call for no holy war. We ourselves are the infidels and the pagans, who know not what we do. Were we even to recognize an enemy, we seek not victory but the martyrs death: To be witness, to proclaim the King's death, to hear "Well done." This is our battle cry.

We dictate no foreign policy or trade embargo; The choices we make are of conscience not control. We refuse to condone the violence of economic oppression or knowingly enslave our global neighbours for the sake of passing popularity or the latest lust. In each transaction we relate not to an 'it' but to a 'you,' not to a brand but to a brother, and each dollar is either a helping hand to bring one to their feet or another drop in an ocean of indifferent economic subjugation.

We believe that giving our children good gifts means not comfort but creative compassion, not fortification but the strength to forgive. It is not weakness that prevents our hands from lifting the sword to protect those we love or ourselves, but the assurance that the victory lies in having fought the good fight and finished the race. Defeat lies not in death but in words betrayed by actions, for each enemy we encounter is both a stranger and a friend, a foe and a brother to whom we are bound. Uncompromising love is what we have witnessed and unrelenting mercy is our prototype. To abandon our Saviour-King at the call of His cross is to be found unworthy of His Name.

We are the few and the foolish. We will never be the majority, the crowd, or the many. Narrow is the path we walk, a path not of practicality but of passion, not of wisdom but of weakness. It is the foolishness of the cross to which we cling; the madness that to suffer is better than to sin; the absurdity of relinquishing rights rather than resisting. To watching eyes we bewilder and confuse, but we are a sight that will not be quickly forgotten. Our dying prayer is that every adversary's eyes will eventually rest upon the crucified Christ.

We the people of the upside-down kingdom work expectantly through the night, confident that the dawn of a new day will soon be upon us.
Reposted with permission.

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