I'm sitting down to write this with no book in hand, no goal in mind and very little forethought. I want to try and give my best answer to the question "What is the Kingdom of God?"
I think that, in its essence, the Kingdom of God is about connectedness; not necessarily some well-planned, formal relationship as one might expect to find at a church or small group, but something more natural, more raw. The Kingdom of God happens when two people connect on a metaphysical level; it's when good beats evil in any given situation; it is light.
wow...this is harder than I thought. Let's try this route: I'm going to list things that are red flags, indicating that the Kingdom of God is at work.
1. There is always humility involved. The Kingdom of God is marked by the way that people purposefully lower themselves in relation to others. When someone decides that another person's wants or needs should trump their own in any given situation -- even in a small way, like conversation -- there is the Kingdom of God.
2. The Kingdom of God is peaceful. As a pacifist, this probably resonates with me more deeply than my non-pacifistic brother's and sisters but regardless of our feelings on the matter, one can't get around the fact that Jesus taught and demonstrated unto death a lifestyle of peace. Thus, his rule and reign is apparent when peace is made in any given situation, be it civil, professional or internal.
3. The Kingdom of God looks like sacrifice; specifically, God's reality looks like the creator of all existence being brutally murdered like a political revolutionary even though he was the most innocent of men. When we give a bit more than we can afford to, when we stick our necks out for the undeserving a bit more than makes sense and when we choose to lose we reflect our maker. Martyrdom is the Kingdom.
Our life is to be about learning how to answer this question and we do so with our lives.
I'd love to hear from any and all who read this. What is the Kingdom of God?