Kin-dom: Throughout the Gospels, Jesus describes the Kingdom of God 37 times, using rich imagery that evokes curiosity and wonder. However, Jesus never once compared the Kingdom of God to an earthly kingdom. Instead, he uses descriptions that reshape the imaginations of his followers and helps them see the world in a new way.
The lived reality of the disciples was one dominated by the Roman Empire. This was a world of violence, oppression, and dehumanization. Those with wealth and power ruled over those without. Jesus’ description of God’s preferred reality offers a stark contrast to what the disciples understood to be a worldly kingdom.
Cuban-American theologian Ada María Isasi-Díaz introduced the word "kin-dom" to mainstream theological discourse in the 1970s. This was a time when the religious world began to gain awareness of the negative connotations transmitted in religious language. Isasi-Díaz notes in her writings that “the coming of the kin-dom of God has to do with a coming together of peoples, with no one being excluded and at the expense of no one.” She also reminds us that for those who are oppressed, “the unfolding of the kin-dom of God happens when instead of working to become part of structures of exclusion, we struggle to do away with such structures” (Isasi-Diaz, Mujerista Theology, 65-66).
Kin-dom, for us, means the reality of God’s power moving in and through us, bringing liberation and opening up spaces where love invites us into deep kinship with one another. This same love invites us to join others at Christ’s table—a table that is ever-growing, always welcoming and never shaming. We hold that God’s liberation is not found in hope deferred to another world or only in life after death but is something we can create here and now.
May God’s kin-dom be made real in each of our lives today and always.