Tasting the Kingdom 1

One of the quotes that has has defined my ministry is this one by the late, great (can we use that word of other Christians?) Lesslie Newbigin who spoke of  the church being the “sign, foretaste and firstfruit” (Newbigin: “A Word in Season” p33) of God’s purposes for that place

“People should be able to see that being a member of a Christian congregation means caring for your neighbours as surely as it means sharing in worship and in the ministry of the Word and sacraments…” (p36)

I really like that idea of the church (God’s new community) being a foretaste  of the Kingdom.  I especially like it because where does the foretaste end – in the wedding banquet of the Lamb.

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”                                                Revelation 19:6-9

And in the life of Jesus as he comes announcing the Kingdom of God, we find that it is not only the words that he speaks but the life that he lives that gives people a taste of the Kingdom of God.  As people interact with Jesus (and his church) they may actually get just a foretaste of the wedding banquet of the Lamb.  Just a foretaste of that day.

Ok – what I want to do is to develop this idea a little more by taking a few stories in Luke (always been my favourite gospel – don’t know why) and watching Jesus as he speaks and lives giving hungry and thirsty people a taste of the Kingdom.  I also want to ask what this might mean for us – as we attempt to be on mission with Jesus.


~ by John on September 5, 2008.

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