Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Your Kingdom come

When Jesus is talking about His Kingdom, He’s talking about everything. It is all His and we are praying to be part of His work in this world. While His rule is challenged or ignored or denied, we pray with the recognition that Jesus is King and He is ruling. In our praying we strive to get in on His rule with Him. This means we affirm His rule and bring ourselves under His rule. Jesus’ Kingdom is not in competition with the kingdoms of this world – political or corporate – it is “subverting them.” Peterson writes, “Jesus does not repudiate the term ‘kingdom’; he recontextualizes it” (p. 176). Jesus’ Kingdom is not imposed, but operates subversively from behind the cross. Peterson again states, “The impatient sovereignty of a dictator does not permit non-participation. The sovereignty of our Father patiently, mercifully waits for worshiping obedience” (p. 177). Jesus’ Kingdom is not other-worldly. It is at work in this world and we pray and live in line with it. Peterson’s closing words on this phrase are worth quoting at length.

Keeping company with Jesus (but only by keeping company with Jesus) as we pray ‘Thy kingdom come,’ we will pray boldly. We know that we are involved in detailed participation in the salvation of the world. This boldness is not arrogance. It is chastened by a thoroughgoing modesty. We don’t make up our own strategies and then employ a self-assertive spirit to foment proud visions of a kingdom that uses swords and money and celebrity glamour to beat the principalities and powers at their own game (p. 177).

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