[...]and taught people the truth of God. God's kingdom was his theme-that beginning right now they were under God's government, a good government. (18, The Message Bible)
In my church, we would say Godde's kin-dom, instead of "kingdom," because we believe that God's land is a place where people and animals live in a state of equality and not of domination that one would normally think of in a monarchial system of government. This is why my church also does not usually refer to Godde as "king" or "Lord." I must say my feelings towards this are a little mixed. Saying kin-dom, instead of kingdom has become part of my usual vocabulary, so that when I am in a setting where everyone else is saying the word, "kingdom," I naturally say "kin-dom" instead. This happens fairly often, as I attend an AA meeting usually at least once a week and they end with saying The Lord's Prayer, where kingdom is said several times. At those times, I prefer saying kin-dom, because it counteracts the sexist language that is so prevalent in Alcoholics Anonymous. I really get a lot out of AA, but sometimes it is hard to sit through a meeting where the language about Godde is predominantly male. I often think when I am in an AA meeting, "What would happen if I referred to my higher power as a She? Would I get uncomfortable glares? Would I be told that I am wrong?" As my sponsor reminded me today, then I would know that I am in the wrong meeting, but it is what goes through my mind. I am still relatively new at this and I am sure that with time I will become more comfortable in expressing my relationship with my higher power.
So, in one way, the word "kin-dom" is an equalizer for me and a little bit rebellious, but the way "kingdom" is used in the verse I quoted, it is also rebellious and that there is truth there also. To say that Godde's kingdom is above any earthly kingdom is powerfully subversive, especially if you believe that God is within you. It was powerfully subversive when it was written, for it meant that the Jews allegiance did not really belong to the Roman empire, but to God. It is still incredibly subversive no matter where you live, but I think especially so for Americans-I mean, we are the main empire right now, and this passage is saying that perhaps domination is not the goal, for we are already under Godde's good government. To me, Godde's spirit speaks to me daily and that is the voice that I should follow-not my government's. Now there are some good things about my government and I am not an anarchist, but my first allegiance is not to my country, but to my Godde and myself.