"the work of God's kingdom"?

I had a heated exchange with someone long-distance the other day, and it left me feeling troubled. I had felt like I was being patronized, by someone of rising prominence in a popular Christian movement. Called him "condescending." But, afterwards, I wasn't sure if I had gotten angry because I was jealous, or my pride had been hurt, or if maybe I had some good reason to be upset.

Today I recalled his words about doing "the work of God's kingdom." It reminded me of what I've heard many others say about "building the kingdom of God," a concept I've challenged before. I suppose it's easier to get caught up in thinking you're an important part of the work of building God's kingdom when the microphone it put in your hand and so many are ready to follow you.

Looking at it from this angle, I think at least part of my anger was justified (though probably not communicated very well). As I wrote before, I believe strongly that God's kingdom is God's work and a gift to us:

God's kingdom isn't built by our work or through our struggling. It's offered to us if we will receive it as God's work, God's gift, for God's glory. "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." (Mk 10.15)
So presumption of being an important worker in the building of God's kingdom seems to me to be a reason for at least some righteous indignation. There are certainly celebrities and big shots in all human groups, but in the kingdom of God we are all (truly) "unworthy servants," or better yet we are all children. Receiving the kingdom as a gift. At most, announcing the great work that God has done. There are none of us who are crucially important, none upon whom the work depends. We all receive God's kingdom as a complete gift, or we do not receive it at all.

I am also led to appreciate again my place as a nobody, spared the temptations of thinking that I am important in "the work of the kingdom." Even the suggestion that such work actually depended on me is overwhelming. I am glad, like a child, to simply do what I'm told by my Father, day by day. And trust that his kingdom is present and growing, while I accept and rejoice in that, until one day he wipes away everything that is not his kingdom so that we all can see clearly what God has done.