Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Second Petition of the Lord’ s Prayer
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 12:1-25; Acts 22:30-23:11
Thy kingdom come. (Small Catechism: Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God’s kingdom does not consist of a land with borders, a castle or palace, or an earthly ruler enthroned with a scepter in his hand, wearing a golden crown and royal robes. God’s kingdom is Jesus. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20). As He said these words, Jesus was literally standing “in the midst” of a group of Pharisees, so when He said, “The kingdom of God is in your midst,” He was referring to Himself!
The Pharisees weren’t praying for God’s kingdom to come—at least, not in the Person of Jesus Christ. The kingdom came to them without their prayers. They would reject and crucify their king, but He would still be their king. His royal scepter would be a reed, His crown a crown of thorns, and His royal robes a blood-soaked purple robe of mockery and shame. The Cross would be His royal throne, and from there the riches of His kingdom would be bestowed upon all mankind.
You do not make Jesus your king by your prayer or decision. Some Christians imagine that Jesus can’t be your king until YOU “make Him the Lord of your life,” as if Jesus were incapable of being your king until you “let” Him be. Jesus is already the King of kings and Lord of lords. He rules over all creation by His divine power, and He will rule in glory for all eternity. You don’t make Him your king; He makes Himself your king. That’s what happened when you were baptized. Jesus, your king, chose you to be His own, to live under Him in His kingdom, the Church, which is His own Body, in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.
That’s what we’re praying for in this petition. We’re thanking King Jesus for making Himself our king and we are asking our king to defend us from the evil one, provide for us the gifts of salvation, give us the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith, and rule in our hearts and in our lives until He comes again in glory. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Your kingdom come. Guard Your domain And your eternal righteous reign. The Holy Ghost enrich our day With gifts attendant on our way. Break Satan’s power, defeat his rage; Preserve your Church from age to age. (“Our Father, Who from Heaven Above” LSB 766, st.3)
-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.