"Jesus did not come urging us to think about him, or to feel deeply about him. When he called disciples, he did not come seeking our disembodied individual spirits. Jesus came inviting us to join up with his kingdom. When we see him healing people, casting out demons, we are to know that ‘the kingdom of God has come upon you.’ …
"Seeing the the kingdom at hand necessitates a response, a decision. We call this repentance. Will we be part of this kingdom or not? In saying ‘Your kingdom come,’ we are acknowledging that faith in Jesus is not simply an idea or an emotion. It is a concrete reality in which we are to become part of else appear to be out of step with the way things are now that God has come into the world in Jesus. When the kingdom comes, we are ‘to repent [i.e. change, let go of our citizenship in the old kingdoms] and believe the good news [i.e., join up, become part of the revolution].’"
– Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Lord Teach Us, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996, pp. 50-51.
That "letting go of old citizenships" and "joining up" with the kingdom revolution demands some careful thought, methinks, in our current cultural climate. What citizenships and allegiances do we need to give up in order to follow Jesus?
I think we have to give up our allegiance to safety. Now, obviously I don’t mean we ought to quit buckling our seat belts, but I mean giving up the safety-by-our-own-will kind of safety. Instead, we ought to take risks that really make us nervous and kinda scared. It can be a financial risk or a relational risk or both. Or something else. A relational risk could be getting to know someone you don’t know or getting to know someone you already know.