When we pray, “Your Kingdom come…”

Jesus responded, “Every scholar of the Scriptures, who is instructed in the ways of heaven’s kingdom realm, is like a wealthy home owner with his house filled with treasures both new and old.” – Matthew 13:52

Yesterday, preparing for my Sunday morning class, I thought about how much I enjoy the focus of our Saturday afternoons and evenings.

By suppertime, Rebekah is typically deep into sermon writing, and I have already started to outline my class. (She’s been preparing most of the week, but this is when the message gets actually assembled.)

I’m in the kitchen cooking, and she’ll yell something from the dining room (it’s been her study for almost a year now): “Derek! What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘kingdom’?” Or, “Do you think I can get away with saying this?” followed by something funny, or edgy, or provocative, or precipitously deep.

Our conversation over the meal will be in many senses sacramental. Then I’ll make some coffee or tea, and we both get back to it.

So I was thinking about this, “Thy Kingdom come” phrase in The Lord’s Prayer. And I wondered about how many Kings can there be in a kingdom and of course the answer is always, “one.”

And I thought about ideals such as, “An Englishman’s home is his castle,” but it really isn’t, it all belongs to God. And I thought about “my rights!” and, “self-determination” and, “Nobody tells me what to do!” but would we be saying that to the King of Kings? And a few other things crossed my mind, and I realized that many of us spend our entire lifetime building personal kingdoms, erecting monuments to ourselves, staking our claim, declaring our independence. But Jesus – the Alpha and Omega, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the Living Word – Jesus says “Your Kingdom come,” to the Father. And the Lord of the Universe chooses to submit his will and in the garden he says, “Not my will be done, but yours.”

All of this is at play when we pray this prayer, the prayer Jesus invites us to use as a model and a guide.

I would like to discuss some of this more with you, and I may do so tomorrow, but if we’re wondering what Jesus had in mind when he talked about God’s kingdom coming to Earth, we have no need to look far. Matthew 13 is a great resource as Jesus says – time and again – “I’m telling you the Kingdom of God is like ______,” and he shares parables, one after another, and we have to realize that the Kingdom of God, the one we say we want to “come” – we realize it is like nothing we have ever imagined before.

And we have to learn. Always, we have to continue to learn – DEREK

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