Week 27: The Kingdom Among You

Today’s Text: Luke 17-18

Key Text: Luke 17:20-21

“Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, “Look, here it is!” or “There it is!” For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.’ “

Have you seen it?

Have you heard it?

Have you felt it?

Have you experienced it?

I am talking about the kingdom of God. There were those in Jesus’s day who, as part of their opposition, part of their disbelief, part of their trickery – tried to pin him down on the subject.

When? How? Why? What it will be like? They pressed on with their questions, though I doubt that most wanted a real answer.

As he always did, he used the teachable moment – the opportunity – to try and instruct those who had “eyes to see, and ears to hear.”

“It’s not like that,” he would answer, “that’s not how the kingdom comes.”

Then, he shocked them even more.

He told them that right then, right there, the kingdom was already among them.

In fact, he told them the kingdom of God was already within them.

“What nonsense!” That was their response.

Still, there were some who dared to dream that maybe, just maybe, what he said was true.

We too can dare to dream.

We can believe that somehow, miraculously, just as he promised, the kingdom of God is still among us – still within us – doing its holy work.

We, in turn, can be in the world, doing the kingdom’s work.

It isn’t necessarily something that people will point out, always recognize. It won’t be announced on the evening news.

“Look, here it is!” “Look, there it is!” “Film at eleven.”

No, it is more subtle than that.

Yet it is still powerful – still miraculous – still wonderful.

The kingdom of God is among you, within you, even now.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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