Today I was listening to an old album I had on my iPod: Derek Webb’s “Mockingbird.” And I was struck by a song that I barely remembered: “A King and a Kingdom.” Here is the chorus:
My first allegiance is not to a flag
A country or a man
My first allegiance is not to
Democracy or blood
It’s to a King and a Kingdom…
Which reminds me of this verse:
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” – 1 Peter 2:11 Emphasis mine.
These two things come together for me to say that I take citizenship in God’s kingdom seriously. It is the defining center of my identity. My identity lies in Christ. I am a citizen of His Kingdom.
And by definition I am an alien and stranger in this one. Whether “this kingdom” means planet Earth or Western culture or the United States of America. It doesn’t matter. I’m called out to be an alien.
I’m an agent of the coming Kingdom. Not this one. And I believe that the coming Kingdom is breaking into this one. Becoming manifest in the here and now and I have a part to play.
I am an insurrectionist aiding in the tearing down of the old regime. I am helping to establish the new.
And this is not done with violence and weapons of destruction. Rather it is accomplished through non-violence. And weapons will have no place in the coming Kingdom.
Swords will be beaten into plowshares. Weapons of destruction recast as tools of creation. For war and violence will have no place.
My allegiance? It belongs wholely and completely to a King and a Kingdom.