Luke 1:30-33: “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.’”

God’s kingdom will never end – that’s what Angel Gabriel told a baffled teenage girl when he announced the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.

What is the kingdom of God?

Jesus summed up the Golden Rule when He preached His sermon on the mount (Matthew 7:12):

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus did it. He lived the Golden Rule like no other. By doing so He brought Heaven down to Earth. Jesus is the walking, talking, living, breathing Kingdom of God. Ironically, the Golden Rule is no rule. It’s a way of life. And we have trouble living this way, unless we have met Jesus who is capable of renewing us from within.

A change of heart does not happen overnight, it is something that happens gradually. Jesus compared the progression of God’s kingdom to yeast permeating dough (Matthew 13:33):

He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.'”

We mostly think about the advancement of God’s kingdom in terms of introducing Jesus globally. And this is one part of the truth. The other part of the truth is discovering Jesus on a personal level. The knowledge of Him sinks in slowly, until our hearts are saturated with the love of God. We get to know Him better every day as we take His hand and take our faltering steps in a broken world.  By doing so, we become agents of hope.

It’s a natural phenomenon: Yeast bacteria permeating the dough make sourdough bread; and a child of God grasping the hand of Jesus spreads the kingdom of God.