Some students of A Course in Miracles have trouble with the use of the term “kingdom”. It is archaic, historically outdated. It implies that God is a man and a king. But if we can understand what the word means, we can understand why it is appropriate within the Course’s thought system.
What does the phrase “the kingdom of God” mean? To what does it refer?
We can describe the kingdom of God in many ways depending on the perspective or point of view from which we choose to describe it. In the phrase "kingdom of God" we can interpret the word “of” at least three different ways and get these three interpretations of “the kingdom of God”:
1. The kingdom of God means the kingdom that belongs to God; God has the kingdom.
2. The kingdom of God means the kingdom that is God; God is the kingdom.
3. The kingdom of God means the kingdom caused by God; God causes or creates the kingdom.
On first reflection, I would say that the third interpretation most accurately describes the relationship between God and His kingdom. It is not difficult, however, to infer that if God creates the kingdom then it belongs to God; God has the kingdom. Moreover, given that having and being are one, as the Course teaches, then God “be’s” or is the kingdom or the kingdom is God. The Course certainly teaches that the kingdom is what God is. Each member of the kingdom is what God is.
What is a “kingdom”?
In general, a kingdom is a domain of things, e.g., persons, lands, etc., in which someone is king. This someone is called a “king” because it is his will that must be done in the domain. Here we are talking more specifically about “the kingdom of God”, and so we are referring to the domain of things in which God’s Will is done.
What are the things that constitute or make up this domain?
They are minds, pure minds. As a member of God’s Kingdom, as a pure mind, I have no will but God’s; you too, as a member, have no will but God’s. His Will is mine, and yours as well. "There is no will but God's" (L74).
From where did these minds, which are the domain in which God’s Will is done, come?
God created them. God fathered them. They are God’s creations, His Sons. Thus, God’s Kingdom is God’s Family. It is pure joy to be a Father Who experiences His Sons doing His Will always! And it is pure joy to be a Son whose Father loves you perfectly and Whose Will for you is perfect happiness! It is pure joy to have a Father Whose perfect knowledge, power, and love guarantee that He can and will give you everything you need to be perfectly happy like Himself!
Somehow, in some way, we have forgotten this. We have forgotten where we are always, and what we are forever. Jesus is teaching us how to remember. Therefore, we pray as Jesus of Nazareth taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
And we also pray as Jesus of the Course teaches us:
“Father, Your Will is mine, and only that. There is no other will for me to have. Let me not try to make another will, for it is senseless and will cause me pain. Your Will alone can bring me happiness, and only Yours exists. If I would have what only You can give, I must accept Your Will for me, and enter into peace where conflict is impossible. Your Son is one with You in being and in will, and nothing contradicts the holy truth that I remain as You created me.” (L307,1)
Copyright © 2009, 2019, 2023 • Robert J. Hellmann