Theme: Lord’s Prayer, Second Petition “Thy kingdom come.”
Readings for the day:
Dear friends in Christ, grace to you and peace from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. Amen.
“Thy kingdom come.” Do you know how incredibly dangerous these three words are when you combine them together? You are praying for Jesus to come, not soon, not after you have lived a long fruitful life, but right now! “Jesus, come and restore this world; bring your kingdom here not tomorrow, but today!” You also pray for this if you use the common table prayer… “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest. Let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.” “Come Lord Jesus.” Equally as dangerous as “Thy kingdom come.” There are times at home where I actually feel this way. When we have one of the kids spitting food out of his mouth and flinging it with his spoon, plastering everything in a three foot radius with pureed peas. While the other is taking a slice of bread and instead of eating it (because that would be what mom and dad what him to do), instead he takes this nice, soft, melt in your mouth slice of bread and crumbles it in his hands until the slice can only be distinguished by the small crumbs that are all over the table, his shirt and the floor. Yes, times like this, I just think, “Come Lord Jesus…NOW. Why can’t your kingdom come, NOW?”
But is this really what we want? Do you want Jesus to come back and re-establish his reign on earth, today? When life is going good, probably not so much. So when you’re sitting on the warm, sunny beach of Florida, enjoying the fact that you are nowhere near any snow, you probably aren’t too concerned about when Jesus will return. Plus none of us fit that description because all of the snow birds are at the beach – we’re stuck in the frozen tundra of Minnesota.
And we all know that life is not always sunny beaches and cool relaxing waters of the Florida coast. No, we live in a broken, messy world. Certain groups are beheading Christians, politicians are arguing and vetoing bills, just this morning there was a huge, multi-car pileup on an interstate in Maine, cancer is still running rampant in the world, and grain prices are falling. When will Jesus restore his kingdom, when there will be no sin, no murders, no accidents, no life killing diseases, and no reliance on a volatile market that could eliminate our retirement accounts or our farms? Why wouldn’t we want Jesus to restore his kingdom now? Because we would rather think about this life and the little bit of power and control that we have. When God’s kingdom is restored, sin will be completely removed from all of creation. Which means that your power and your control (the little bit that you have) will be taken from you and you will live trusting and fully depending on God. And as your loving parent, God will provide for your every need.
Until that day we remain faithful to God through hearing his holy Word and receiving his body and blood. These are what sustain us in this messed up world we live in. Jesus told the Pharisees that they can’t go looking for God’s Kingdom, because they won’t find it. God’s kingdom is within us. We listen and hear God’s Word and then we eat and ingest Christ’s body and blood – nourishing us in this life. Luther says in his Small Catechism that God’s kingdom will come when “our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life on earth now and in heaven forever.” When God’s kingdom comes we won’t have to worry about beheadings or cancer or kids crumbling up their bread and throwing it everywhere or people trying to exert their power and control over us. For God’s kingdom will wipe all of this out. This is what you are praying for when you say those three dangerous words, “Thy kingdom come.” You are praying that God’s kingdom will come to wipe out all sin, death, and hell, so that we may all live forever in perfect righteousness and blessedness. Amen.
© 2015 Anthony Christoffels. Used with permission.
 Luther’s Small Catechism, Explanation of Second Petition.