“The Kingdom of God is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until all was leavened.” That’s the way Jesus taught us to think about the Kingdom: it grows like yeast. Ever made bread? You put the yeast in, make the dough, and then go about your business. There are some variables you can tweak to help it rise a little faster or slower, but yeast is alive, and it does its work even when you’re not looking. Slowly. So slowly, in many cases, that it’s hard to see.
Jesus sent His followers to heal the sick, and we’ve cared for the sick and dying everywhere we’ve ever gone. We stayed in the plague-ridden cities to care for the sick when Galen fled to the countryside. We founded and staffed leper colonies at risk of our lives. We scoured the hillsides for unwanted babies abandoned by their parents (a crime now, but common practice in the ancient world). We literally invented the concept of public hospitals. We’ve been so successful that today, everybody just thinks having hospitals is common sense. Nobody thinks of hospitals as a peculiarly Christian thing. But even in a city as young as Denver, most of the hospitals were founded by Christians: Rose and St. Joseph’s (Catholic), Swedish (Lutheran), Porter and Littleton (Adventist), Presbyterian/St. Luke’s, and so on.
This is Christmas working its way out across history: God incarnate in Jesus offers us all access to the divine nature. That being the case, humanity is unitable in principle; in an important way, we are already one, and should treat each other accordingly.