Your Kingdom Come

While many Christians today understand Jesus' prayer as directed to a God who is both Mother and Father, and while many Christians prefer more inclusive language such as "reign of God" over the traditional "kingdom of God," for this article we have retained the usage chosen by the authors. - The Editors

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.... Unexpectedly, quite surprisingly, politics creeps into our Christian praying. Here we were in the Lord's Prayer, talking about God, heaven, and holiness, and suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of a political argument about a kingdom. We have not prayed, "Lord bless our nation," or, "Lord protect my family." We pray your kingdom come.

Here the Lord's Prayer lurches toward the specific and the mundane. (Be prepared to get even more specific and mundane, for shortly we move in this prayer from kingdom to Earth to bread.) In an age in which there is an outburst of enthusiasm for things spiritual, it may come as a shock to admit that Christianity is very materialistic. Our goal is not to fill you with enough spiritual hot air that you float a foot above the earth. Our goal is to teach you to pray in such a way that material matters such as politics and bread will be for you spiritual matters.

Jesus did not come urging us to think about him or to feel deeply about him. When he called disciples, he did not come seeking our disembodied individual spirits. Jesus came inviting us to join up with his kingdom. When we see him healing people, casting out demons, we are to know that "the kingdom of God has come upon you."

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 1996
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