It’s a dangerous prayer we pray every week: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I’m not sure we know what we’re asking.
We get a hint in today’s gospel text, from John. Two “kings” engage in a terse conversation at the Roman praetorium or headquarters. Pilate, the provincial Roman official asks Jesus, the itinerant Jewish rabbi, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Two kings. Two kingdoms. Two ways of exercising power in the world. Pilate doesn’t have much firepower there in Jerusalem. But if the need arises he can call in legions from bases in neighboring areas including, disturbingly, Syria.
Jesus could call in his followers to fight for him. Indeed they already would be fighting for him except his is not that kind of kingdom. In fact, as Pilate points out, Jesus’ own nation has handed him over to Pilate. Jesus’ kingdom is not from around here. It is a kingdom of truth.
“Kingdom” is a way of talking about a social structure for the way God does things. And in the “Lord’s Prayer” we ask for God to bring it on. Pieces of it are already in place and there’s more to come. And where Christ reigns there is justice and peace, and a place for everyone at the table.
We hope you’ll join us for worship at 9:30 at the Reedville Church on this Reign of Christ Sunday. There’ll be Communion, too.