The first disciples of Jesus believed that he would come again soon, within their lifetime. When his coming was delayed, they and subsequent disciples had to readjust their expectation and, consequently, their behavior. The issue became how to live a life shaped according to the reality of the kingdom of God in the midst of the reality of the kingdom of the world. As we live in the world, a world full of injustice and violence, hatred and prejudice, envy and greed, how do we live a life shaped by faith rather than doubt; hope rather than despair; love rather than hate? This is a central concern for Christians because they are disciples of Jesus Christ, who stated at the beginning of his ministry, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mk 1:15). In other words, despite all evidence to the contrary, the kingdom of God is here, on earth, in some way, shape, and form, even now. Do not believe all the evidence to the contrary; rather, turn from it, and believe what I (that is, Jesus) am telling you. The kingdom of God is at hand.
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