by Rick Campanelli
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6.10
We have said the Lord’s Prayer so many times, it is hard to actually pay attention to what we are saying, or to whom we are saying it. Lawyers, especially, should seek to be attentive to giving phrases like "Thy kingdom come" the full meaning Jesus intended.
It might be helpful to begin by reminding ourselves that when we say, "Thy kingdom come," we are talking to the Lord of the Universe, and the Lord of the Universe is listening. But what do we mean when we say it?
Preposterous as it sounds, if we say "Thy kingdom come" without thinking, we might find ourselves asking God if he could please hurry up and fix things. Of course, that would mean that since Jesus told us to pray these words, He must have thought the Father needs a little reminder – as in "Thy kingdom come, Lord. It is a wreck down here, so Jesus asked me to point out that on your to-do list is to make all things new here, like they are in heaven. So Father, could you please get on with it?"
Of course, that can’t be right. The Father doesn’t need a reminder from us about the state of His creation, and Jesus wouldn’t need our help reminding Him. Jesus himself told us that the Father’s timing, plans and purposes are perfect, and will not be rushed: "No one knows the date or the hour except the Father." (Matt. 24.36). Even when things were very bleak in the Old Testament, God’s people were told that His timing was perfect: "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end -- it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it. It will surely come; it will not delay." (Hab. 2.3).
But if God won't be rushed, why does Jesus tell us to say to the Father, "your kingdom come"? Perhaps, we are the ones who need the helpful reminder.
When Jesus tells us to pray "Thy kingdom come," He has already reminded us that because of what He has done, we have the amazing privilege of talking with the Lord of the universe and calling him "Our Father" -- because it is true! "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God, because that is what we are!" (1 John 3.1).
Jesus then tells us that when talking with our Father, we should affirm how awesome our loving Father is -- "hallowed," we say in the old language. And then, Jesus tells us we should say "Thy kingdom come." Whatever our view of our circumstances and however grave the turmoil our poor world finds itself in, we affirm our faith – and in so doing, remind ourselves -- that the Lord is bringing about His kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. Before we ask for our daily bread or anything else, Jesus tells us we should affirm to our Father that our present and our future is absolutely secure in Him, and that we have the amazing privilege of joining our Father in whatever He wants to accomplish, until Jesus returns. "Father, we commit ourselves to you perfect plan, will and timing, and we pray you make us ready for service to you this day. Thy kingdom come!"
Every year that Jesus holds off returning, millions more people come to know him and become members of his Kingdom. Come to think of it, that's how we got here. Thy kingdom come, Father, and come, Lord Jesus, in your perfect timing, your perfect purpose and your perfect love!
"Lord, gratefully willingly, with all my heart, I place my hope in you, and align, submit and commit myself to your perfect timing in accomplishing your perfect will. If I may be of service today, I am listening and I am ready to get on with it, Lord. Your kingdom come."