It is not a place, of course, but a condition. Kingship might be a better word. “Thy kingdom come, they will be done,” Jesus prayed. The two are in apposition.
Insofar as here and there, and now and then, God’s kingly will is being done in various odd ways among us even at this moment, the kingdom has come already.
Insofar as all the odd ways we do his will at this moment are at best half-baked and halfhearted, the kingdom of God is still a long way off—a hell of a long way off, to be more precise and theological.
As a poet, Jesus is maybe at his best in describing the feeling you get when you glimpse the Thing itself—the kingship of the king official at last and all the world his coronation. It’s like finding a million dollars in a field, he says, or a jewel worth a king’s ransom. It’s like finding something you hated to lose and thought you’d never find again—an old keepsake, a stray sheep, a missing child. When the kingdom really comes, it’s as if the thing you lost and thought you’d never find again is you.
– from Wishful Thinking
If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear and wits to understand, we would know that the Kingdom of God in the sense of holiness, goodness, beauty is as close as breathing and is crying out to be born both within ourselves and within the world; we would know that the Kingdom of God is what we all of us hunger for above all other things even when we don’t know its name or realize that it’s what we’re starving to death for. The Kingdom of God is where our best dreams come from and our truest prayers. We glimpse it at those moments when we find ourselves being better than we are and wiser than we know. We catch sight of it when at some moment of crisis a strength seems to come to us that is greater than our own strength. The Kingdom of God is where we belong. It is home, and whether we realize it or not, I think we are all of us homesick for it.
– from The Clown in the Belfry
I certainly know I am… Maranatha!