May Your Kingdom Come Soon, Part 2Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon.
In yesterday’s reflection, I began thinking about what it means to pray “May your Kingdom come soon.” I explained that the teaching of Jesus concerning the kingdom of God has both a future and a present dimension. Thus, when we pray, “May your Kingdom come,” we are asking for the fullness of God’s kingdom to come on earth at some time in the future. At the same time, we are asking God to rule in our lives and in our world right now.
When I pray, “May your Kingdom come,” I am opening my life to the Lord. I am offering myself as a servant of the King of kings. I am saying, in effect, “Lord, direct my life. I am here for you, ready and available. Use me for your purposes and glory.” My hope is that I will act in every situation in a way that reflects God’s sovereignty over my life.
Let me be very specific about one way the kingdom of God is manifested in my life. I hate conflict. I don’t like making people feel bad, and I dislike feeling bad myself. I would choose to avoid conflict if at all possible. So, if somebody wrongs me in a significant way, I am not inclined to go to that person directly. I’d much rather ignore the offense, pretend it didn’t happen, or gossip about it to my friends. The thought of actually coming face-to-face with someone to talk about what happened fills me with dread.
But then I have the teaching of Jesus to contend with. In Matthew 18, he is clear that if someone sins against me, I am to go directly to that person and “point out the offense” (Matt. 18:15). The purpose of this conversation is repentance and reconciliation. (For an in-depth examination of this passage from Matthew, see my article: What To Do If Someone Sins Against You: The Teaching of Jesus.)
Now, back to our verse for the day. When I pray for God’s kingdom to come in my life, I am implicitly asking God to help me do what’s right, even when I am not happy about it. Living under God’s reign means, therefore, that I must lovingly confront one who has sinned against me, no matter what I might prefer.
But, the presence of the kingdom of God in our lives is not just a matter of doing the right things. It is also having God’s power at work in and through us. The King of kings is there to help us do what honors him. He is also at work in our part of the world, touching lives and transforming hearts. Thus, when I pray “May your Kingdom come,” I am not only committing myself to do what’s right, but also acknowledging that God is at work in and around me.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: If God were to rule over every part of your life, what difference might this make today? How might you act differently at work? with your friends? in your private life? in the community? Where do you need God’s guidance and help, which is to say, the presence of his kingdom?
PRAYER: May your kingdom come soon!
Yes, Lord, may your kingdom come in my life. I ask you to rule over all of me: my choices and dreams, my professional life and my private life, my relationships and my finances.
May your kingdom come around me, as you work in the people I meet each day. Let your Spirit be active in my colleagues and family members, in my neighbors and brothers and sisters and church.
May your kingdom come in this world. Yes, I ask for the final presence of your kingdom in the age to come. But, in the meanwhile, may your grace, love, truth, and justice be present in this world. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Devotional Reflections for Holy Week
My blog is featuring a series of devotional reflections for Holy Week, based on a biblical version of the Stations of the Cross. You can find these devotions at my blog: http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts/.