Thy kingdom come…
Hello, Chapel Hill!
Most of us who have any kind of religious background are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. The disciples asked something of Jesus that they never had before…and never would again. They asked, “Lord, teach us…” Now, if you had been a follower of Jesus during the heady opening days of his ministry around the Sea of Galilee, there are any number of things you might have asked the Lord to teach you. “Lord, teach us to heal.” “Lord, teach us to teach.” “Lord, teach us to cast out demons.” “Lord, teach us how to multiply food.” (That would be a particularly handy trick.)
But the disciples asked none of those things. The one time they are recorded as asking Jesus to teach them, it was this: “Lord, teach us to pray.” Obviously, they had watched and experienced the prayer-soaked life and ministry of Jesus. And they knew, rightly, that every spectacular thing that Jesus had done on earth was born out of his intimate prayer relationship with his Heavenly Father. Thus, we learned, “Our Father, who art in heaven….”
The very first petition in the Lord’s Prayer may seem to be the most unattainable…especially at this moment in history. “Thy kingdom come…” What would it look like if the kingdom of God really, truly made an appearance on earth? Surely, it would mean an end to a pandemic. An end to the political knife-fighting that has replaced civil discourse. An end to anarchy posing as protest. An end to racism and suspicion and cynicism. I’ve been alive a while now, and there hasn’t been a time in my life that was more stained with bitterness, mistrust, and contempt than this one. “Thy kingdom come” seems a pipe dream right now. And yet…it is what Jesus taught us to pray. The very first thing.
So…we are going to do just that. We are going to gather on Tuesday, August 18, at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary and pray “thy kingdom come.” It will be a gathering for worship and prayer. I would urge you to join me for this event. We can accommodate 200 people…and I hope we take up every single space. If ever there was a time to entreat the Lord to flood us with kingdom love, grace, kindness and peace…it is now.
“Thy kingdom come…”