Every year for the past several years between Ascension Day and the Day of Pentecost, the Archbishop of Canterbury challenges Christians all over the world to pray together for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is called “Thy Kingdom Come.” I really like this challenge and if you are a regular reader of this blog you will no doubt know that we have daily blog posts during those days offering scripture and a prayer. Being raised when and how I was, I prefer the contemporary rendering of this phrase, “Your Kingdom Come,” and I will use that version for the rest of this post. (I also prefer alternative renderings with “reign” or “dominion” but that’s another blog post.)
As I spend a lot of time preparing for “Thy Kingdom Come,” I get the opportunity to mediate and contemplate what those specific words taken from the Lord’s Prayer mean to me and to us, and there is no more important time to consider what these words mean for our world today than in times of crisis. We as a nation and as a world stand on the brink of several crises of our own making: war with Iran, climate change, wealth inequality, the personal and national debt crises, the lack of trust and stability within our body politic, and I’m sure you have your own list of issues facing us. The question for the Christian is, “What does it mean for me to pray ‘Your Kingdom Come?'”
What does it mean in the midst of war to pray for God’s Kingdom to come? What does it mean in any of these crises to pray for God’s transforming, transcendent Kingdom to come? It sounds political, because it is. God’s reign and the mission of Jesus Christ which makes the Church is always political, but never partisan. God is present with all people. God can act to better the world through all people. No question. No favoritism. God loves the Iranian as much as the American. God loves the trees and the animals that have died in Australian fires as much as God love you and me.
The politics of God are not blue, red, purple, yellow, or green. The politics of God are the dignity and transformation of the whole of creation into the luminous perfection that God has planned from the beginning but that requires us, each of us who bears the name of Christ, to make a stand. We must stand, not with the Caesars who inhabit this world today, but with the Child who was born to us just two weeks ago, the One who has come into the world to reconcile the world. The One who has come, not to condemn the world, but to save it.
How will we take our stand with Christ today? How will we pick up our own cross and follow Christ today?