Monday, May 06, 2013

Post from the Past: Thy Kingdom Come

Continuing a series originally published in 2005; original post here.

Thy kingdom come

Citizens of a democracy may be really tripped up by this petition. For many of us, God-as-King is strictly a biblical concept, unrelated to anything we have ever known or experienced. We are used to self-governing, to a vote, to majority rule. We are at the very least suspicious in the face of claims to royal prerogative. “Kingship” doesn’t go over real well. But St. Paul commented “the Kingdom ofGod is not a matter of eating and drinking” (i.e., a matter of the “rule of law,” or of kingship as external government). Instead, it is about “justice, peace and the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit” (cf. Rom. 14:7).

When we ask “thy Kingdom come,” we are asking to be “led by the Spirit of God,” with a resultant outpouring of the “fruits of the Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience…”  (cf. Gal. 5:22). Earthly rule cannot impose requirements for life on that level. All an earthly kingship can hope to do is limit harmful behavior and coordinate whatever good there is. The indwelling Spirit of God establishes us in an entirely different realm. It is the Spirit within us who cries out “Abba” (cf. Gal. 4:6), and in this Spirit we pray “thy Kingdom come!”

Earlier posts in this series:
Our Father, Who Art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name

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