Chiefs Kingdom and a Better Kingdom

Just in case you somehow missed it – something pretty exciting happened last weekend. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Fifty years since their last appearance (yes, 50 years!), the team whose may (or may not have) coined the term Super Bowl took home the trophy for only the second time ever.

Having grown up in Kansas City, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see this moment.  In the weeks leading up the big game and in the week following, the whole city was buzzing. Random people were discussing the Chiefs in line at the grocery store. People who still weren’t sure what a 2-point conversion is were die-hard fans. Every store in Kansas City seemed to be selling Chiefs apparel, not to mention the stands on street corners. I admit I may have teared up once or twice during the inspirational commercials on the radio.

The shirts that particularly caught my attention were being sold at my neighborhood Hy-Vee. Like half of the city, I too was on the hunt (no pun intended) for a new Chiefs shirt the week of the Super Bowl. After perusing the picked-over selection at Target, I stopped by Hy-Vee to see tables full of shirts – emblazoned across the front was the phrase “thy kingdom cometh.” While I am a big fan of my hometown team, I couldn’t quite get past the sacrilege – and made a third stop at Walmart.

But the more I thought about the shirt – or perhaps the overall concept – I couldn’t get it out of my mind. An entire city was abuzz with excitement after the seemingly unthinkable happened. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet I kept thinking I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that level of excitement when the words of the Lord’s Prayer, “thy kingdom come” are said. I don’t see that degree of coming together when we talk about belonging to a different kingdom.

Yet for followers of Jesus, that kingdom should be so much more meaningful than any football kingdom. The kingdom that Jesus ushered in is far more exciting than any kingdom of this earth. It’s far more powerful than any political win. It’s far more miraculous than a come-from-behind fourth quarter victory.

The kingdom that Jesus invites us to be a part of is one where our political clout isn’t important. It’s not based on the money we have. It’s not based on our physical fitness or sports ability. He invites us to be part of a kingdom where the humble are exalted. Where the despised and rejected can find hope. A kingdom where broken people can find grace, forgiveness and healing.

As I felt the spirit of unity with my fellow Kansas Citians, I thought about the divided world around us. While I don’t think this divisiveness is something new (our country has fought a Civil War), our current news cycle/social media/etc. makes it harder to escape. In the midst of this, there was a respite – a reminder that we can come together.

And I wondered how many of us are a part of the same kingdom – yet we are allowing lesser kingdoms to divide us. We are being divided by so many kingdoms. Kingdoms of politics, race, class, and status (to name just a few!). Yet if the kingdom of a sports team can bring us together – how much more so should the kingdom of God bring us together?

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

There is something about that name.

Master. Savior. Jesus.

Like the Fragrance after the rain.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Let all heaven and earth proclaim.

Kings and kingdoms will all pass away.

But there is something about that name

(William J. Gaither and Gloria Gaither)

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