I have been again, reflecting on the work of Barry Taylor, and his excellent book, Entertainment theology. In particular are a couple of quotes from page 32, that have hit me:
Subversive activity of loving one another, welcoming the stranger, sharing goods in common and returning good for evil… The sermon on the mount isn’t just an ideal vision of a new society. It is a sustainable way of life for those who live by faith.
Rhizomes reflect this kingdom of God … they were trying to remember what it meant to practice works of mercy, to follow the church’s social teachings, to be God’s peculiar people in the world.
I love all of this…. a return to a more organic understanding of Christianity being about a spirituality concerned with ‘how we should love’ and less about control, or who is in and who is out. Its focus is orthopraxis and away from the obsessions of orthodoxy. The image of rhizomes is a great one, organic, un-controllable, invisible but emerging, these characteristics really do tally with the idea of the now but not fully here Kingdom of God.
This connects with some of my thinking around new-monasticism, this focus on radical hospitality and forms of church that arise by the spirit, a catching up with what God is already doing, is close to my heart.