It’s sometimes easy to think that the Church is a club that meets on Sundays and perhaps once or twice more during the week. We’re all friends so we hang out together and share meals from time to time. It’s sometimes easy to forget that the Church is the invasion of this world by heaven. The Church is the colonization of this planet by its Creator.
We are not here as tourists. We are not here for the great hunting and fishing. We aren’t here for a cultural experience. We are here to teach the nations obedience to King Jesus. We are here to bring the peace and justice of the cross to the world. We are here to teach Republicans and Democrats that their military industrial complex is a holocaust machine and to lay down their arms. We are here to teach the Wallstreet tycoons and middle class yuppies that godmoney will not save them. We are here to teach the pot smoking liberals and sexy American icons that their peace and happiness is illusory and empty. We are here to teach the world to obey the Lord Jesus.
The way of justice, the way of peace, the way of freedom and equality in this world is through the crucifixion and resurrection of a Jewish man two thousand years ago. That is the folly that we preach. And that is the folly that we are called to live in order to show the world what it might look like, what the will of God done on earth as it is in heaven might be.
This means that the Church is politics. The gospel is political. The gospel is a plan for society. It is a civil and international agenda. It imagines and proclaims peace to the warring nations. It hopes for and proclaims mercy and freedom to the oppressed and downtrodden. The Church declares the way of justice through the cross of Jesus.
The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of bylaws for a club that meets on Sundays; the Sermon on the Mount is the blueprints and charter for this world remade. It is the constitution of the Kingdom of God. In the one, true sacrifice of Jesus, sin has been dealt with, the power of death has been undone, and by the gift of the Spirit, all people are called to offer their own bodies as living sacrifices. This is the way of the Kingdom, the politics of Jesus, our rebellion against all of the powers of the world, the flesh, and the Devil.