Upper II Alpha and the Kingdom of God

A thoughtful consideration.

Ms Cattigan, Form Teacher, Upper II Alpha, has been teaching her class about the Kingdom of God.  The class was asked to consider how our beliefs about the Kingdom of God impact our moral values and behaviour.  Lara Ward has written about this and we would like to share with you her thoughts on how to bring the Kingdom of God here today.

‘In Religious Education, we have been learning about the Kingdom of God. Jesus teaches us lots of different things about how to live a good life and how not to be a sinful person. We have learnt about the Kingdom Values by listening to the word of God in the parables that Jesus taught us. He did this to help us understand what the Kingdom of God means. Jesus changed many people’s lives through telling these stories. As Christians, God expects us to carry out the things he taught us. In the New Testament, He gives us the New Covenant, ‘Love your neighbour as I have loved you.’

The New Commandment

Jesus gave us the New Commandment to summarise the Ten Commandments. ‘Love your neighbour as I have loved you’ and ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.’ (Luke 10:27). In order for us to do this, we could regularly go to Church. You could also give up your time by working in a charity shop, giving money to the poor or quite simply, donating old clothes and toys to a charity shop. Always treat others as you would like to be treated and put other’s needs before your own. Think about what you do have and not what you don’t. We are lucky to have what we have.

The Kingdom Values

There are many ways that we could live the Kingdom Values in our everyday life. One key Kingdom Value is love. As Jesus died on the cross for us, he asked us to do one simple thing. ‘Love your neighbour as I have loved you’. To fulfil this Kingdom Value, you could do a job that you don’t normally do to help a parent or guardian; you could get on with your homework as soon as you get in so your parents will not get stressed that you are not doing what you are supposed to. You would do all this as an act of love. No matter how important you think one value is, they are all important so we need to learn how to put them into practice in our everyday lives.

The Parables

Jesus explained that the Kingdom of God starts within us and spreads. This is like a ripple of water. When you drop a stone into water, it ripples; they get bigger and bigger, just like an act of kindness. It starts when you show an act of kindness of love to someone who then shows it to someone else and then it continues. In one parable, Jesus tells us about the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus dies by the rich man’s gate covered in sores whilst the rich man has more food on his table than he needs. It is even falling off the table for the dogs to eat; he does not even think about Lazarus. When they die, Lazarus goes to heaven but the rich man goes to hell (Luke 16:19-21). In this parable, we are the rich man. God wants us to help others and not to just think about ourselves. God wants us to put other’s needs before our own. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan helped a man who was hurt and paid for him to spend a night at the Inn. However, the people you would have expected to help him (a priest and a Levite) just walked past. You can show an act of kindness to your friends and family, but you can also show an act of kindness to people you do not know, for example by giving money to a food bank or donating money to CAFOD and Mind.

In summary, the Kingdom Values, the New Commandment and the parables that Jesus taught us, all have a great influence on our moral values today. We can show this by living our lives following in Jesus’ footsteps.’