St Michael and All Angels

Observatory, Cape Town

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Trinity VIII : Fr Tony Hogg

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The question we need to concentrate on this morning is quite simply this; ‘What is the 
Kingdom of God?’ Too many of us discover no meaning in the words of our Lord, because we 
so often count the Kingdom of God as something which only belongs to the future, something 
on the other side of death, a phrase which might be almost equivalent to heaven. That aspect 
exists, but what we must remember is that the Kingdom of heaven exists in the present. It is 
quite simply God’s rule in the hearts of us all.
So given that we need to ask ourselves how we get in? The first answer is, not through the 
door of pious phrases. The repetition of the right phrases, should have little weight put on it.
Remember Jesus tells us that it is not by saying, ‘Lord, Lord’ that we gain entry into the 
Kingdom of God.
Words are important, and phrases can be meaningful, but they do not automatically force open the 
doors of the Spirit. Jesus said, ‘ Not everyone that saith unto me, “Lord, Lord, “ shall enter the 
Kingdom of heaven.” So how then do we get in? The second answer is not by good works. 
Remember that Jesus 
went on to add ‘ but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven’. The text 
emphasizes there must be doing, as well as talking, but it is not the doing of what are
commonly called ‘good works’. Remember St Paul; ‘ And though I bestow all my goods to 
feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity it profiteth me 
nothing.’ It isn’t that we should not be supporting our parish outreach programmes, or other 
charities which we chose to, but if we think that those good works of their own will force 
open the door into the Kingdom we are mistaken.  There are thousands of
charities throughout the world helping people without any Christian allegiance.
So what does force entry? How do we get in? The answer is doing the will of the Father in 
Heaven. This means believing in God, believing that he is the Father, believing that he has a 
will or purpose for us his people. It is a matter of trusting in a loving, caring God, who will be 
there for us, for those whom we love ‘for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness 
and in health ‘ In other words the Kingdom is the rule of God’s love in the hearts of us all. The 
door only yields when we do our living in the trust that what is happening is somehow the 
providence of God, and it is meant for our good. We live here and now in The Western Cape
in the year 2019, in the Kingdom of God’s love and power and effectiveness, being different 
and appearing different because we have allowed ourselves to strive to enter.
We have done that because daily we believe in God the Father, who has a purpose in our 
lives, and we can live now in the Kingdom of heaven, which there is surely no better place to 
We all know that the world is not as God intended it to be; it is messed up and often in 
rebellion against its ruler. The bible teaches us that this will one day all be put right and all 
will submit to God, their Lord and King.
However, Jesus’ message is one of more immediate hope; that God’s kingdom is here and 
now in the lives of those who respond to the Church’s message about Christ. God intervenes
vanquishing the power sin has over our lives and removing the barriers between ourselves 
and God so we can communicate directly through God with prayer.
Through this and our devotion to the Sacrament of the Altar empowered by the Holy 
Spirit, we know that we can become the people God intended us to be, not weighed down 
by the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.’ We can know the peace of trusting that 
our lives are in the hands of the universe and not subject to the whims of cruel fate or 
chance. And as we see God’s rule in our own life, we can reach out to those who are 
suffering in this rebellious world and show them something of what it is to enter the 
kingdom of heaven, here and now.
This is the message of hope offered to us all today and no wonder Christ believed there was 
a harvest of people desperate to be part of that kingdom here and now. So, good people, let 
our prayer this week be how we can let others know that kingdom of heaven is near to 
them and that, in this dark and often frighten world, a taste of heaven is indeed not far 
away. Amen


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