The Kingdom of God is a Gypsy Nation


While working as a reporter in Oxford, AL, I had a neighbor who said he served as something of an ambassador for Gypsies. The traffic in and out of his apartment seemed to back up the story. His father was allegedly a King of the Gypsies. In unguarded moments, though staying strictly off the record, my neighbor recounted how his family served to bail out wandering Gypsies who landed in jail, directed them to low-cost hotels and camp grounds, or showed them the ropes on making a quick buck among the locals.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of his tales, nor do I wish to disparage any nationality or tribe that considers itself Gypsy. However, the concept has served me well in describing the Kingdom of God.

My friend told me that Gypsies were a nation within a nation, loyal to the King and other unofficial authorities, no matter what nation they wander through. The Kingdom of God is like that.

The Kingdom of Heaven is not Heaven; the Kingdom of God is not God. You may be residing in the Kingdom of the United States, but your citizenship depends on you loyalty and obedience to the King. British subjects and people with dual citizenships may have a better sense of this.

I tell my congregants that we can chose to live in the Kingdom of God now by subjecting ourselves to the lordship of God. In the Kingdom of God, people are charitable, noble, forgiving. They may wander through the kingdom of this world, subject by circumstance to its laws and hardships, but their loyalty is elsewhere.

Fortunately, there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit. We are all ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. We have to remember that outsiders judge the kingdom by the behavior of its subjects.

As Jesus said in Luke 17, 21-22:

The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, “Here it is,” or “There it is,” because the kingdom of God is within you.

It reminds me of lyrics in the song, “Rome”, by Nickel Creek:

Can you tell me where do dead men go?
It’s a question with an answer only dead men know.
I only know, they’re never gonna feel at home
If they spent their lives learning how to live in Rome.

By Joel Tucker

Joel Tucker is senior pastor at Tropical Sands Christian Church. He served as associate pastor five years and became senior pastor in 2006. Currently, he also serves as moderator of the Southern District, Florida Region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Auburn University. He enters ministry after 20 years in corporate communications and five years of computer programming. In worship, he plays sax, bass, uke, squeezebox and bass fiddle.

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About Joel Tucker

Joel Tucker is senior pastor at Tropical Sands Christian Church. He served as associate pastor five years and became senior pastor in 2006. Currently, he also serves as moderator of the Southern District, Florida Region. He holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Auburn University. He enters ministry after 20 years in corporate communications and five years of computer programming. In worship, he plays sax, bass, uke, squeezebox and bass fiddle.

One thought on “The Kingdom of God is a Gypsy Nation

  1. “Jesus is Lord” is both an affirmation and a defiant denial.

    Jesus is my only Lord, I have no other lords – no pharaoh and no caesar, no king and no emperor, no dictator and no junta, no prime minister and no president, and no pope and no cardinal and no bishop and no priest and no authoritarian clergy and no liturgical organization that controls and determines who is a member or deacon or elder or who is to be baptized or to receive communion or to be ordained.

    “From its beginning, the Good News has been apolitical and non-national. When pushed to choose between faith and empire, the way of the Good News has been to respond with non-violent defiance and refusal. Our faith life is not measured by how materially abundant or wealthy is our life and not by how much political or cultural influence we have. Our faith life in no way embodies, is connected to, or dependent upon or subservient to patriotic fervor or national loyalty or good citizenship. Our faith life is measured by how we attend to and improve the lives of others – by feeding them, quenching their thirst, clothing them, visiting them in prison, healing them, and welcoming them. Keep in mind that this is a deliberately incomplete list. It works in much the same way as when Jesus tells Peter to forgive, not 7 times, but 77 times – the point being that by the time you forgive someone 77 times, it has become, not an act that has been repeated 77 times, it has become a habit, a path, a journey, a way of life. The point is that by the time you develop the habit of feeding, quenching, clothing, healing, welcoming, and visiting prisons, you have created a new life complete with new values and new goals and new vision. Once you get to this point, you have discovered and claimed (not earned) and embodied your grace-given membership in the family of God, a membership exemplified by faith, love, and service.”
    (RECLAIMING the GOOD NEWS – an epistle)
    http://dmergent.org/2010/08/05/reclaiming-the-good-news-an-epistle/

    I am gypsy, hobo, itinerant clown of joy and wandering minstrel of Good News. The heavens are my roof, the earth is my home, and all people are my family.

    Amen

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