Occasionally there are in the translations of gospel passages a one word difference from the familiar that stops me in my tracks and causes me to reflect rather than to simply assume I “get it.” That happened this morning in a very familiar passage from Luke 17. Listen:
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”
Did you hear it? Haven’t we been saying “The Kingdom God is within you?” That’s been my favorite quote for a long time and what I believe: that God has set up housekeeping in my heart! Hard to believe for some of us who feel unworthy of such a gift, but we have it on good authority – centuries of theological study and the witness of so many sainted people. Today I was happy to see that word among instead of within. It’s a little risky to say that because it could also allow me to say things like, “Well, yes: in you but not in me.” That’s not it at all! For me, “among” makes me know that God’s love is in all of us and that we are called to see it that way — in the mutuality that is totally inclusive. I would venture to say that Luke might be tempted to explain it as the kingdom of God being everywhere we are: within, between and among us as a flowing energy that is the life of God in this realm.
Can you, will you, see it that way?