As a kid I remember grownups using the phrase “until kingdom come” when something was going to take forever to happen or would happen forever. Perhaps the only phrase that was used in this context more often was the famous “until the cow’s come home.” For example “Oh that Johnny can stack bales until the cows come home.” Ok, maybe that belies my mostly rural up bringing but the point is this, when the phrase “until kingdom come” was used it meant a forever or distant kind of thing.
“Oh, that won’t happen until kingdom comes.” Old timers don’t have a corner on this phrase either, I have seen it in the words of songs by Cold Play and Kamelot … “For you i’d wait til kingdom comes,” and “I’ll follow my heart until kingdom comes.” Very romantic I ‘spose, but in reality… the kingdom is in fact not that far off, which sort of dampens all that mushy stuff.
You see, when we pray “your kingdom come on earth as in heaven” in the Lord’s prayer we need to recognize that God’s kingdom does in fact come to us long before the cows come home.
God’s kingdom, is present in heaven, yes, true and very important to remember. But we must also remember as we pray this petition that God’s kingdom comes now even as we pray this prayer, in the here and now.
God’s kingdom isn’t just a far off thing, it is indeed here and now present among us. I have seen this kingdom, it shows up in little ways and in big ways each day. It is present when as people of faith we live our lives in a Godly way… not just singing nicely in church, but fueled by the Holy Spirit to bring that very kingdom into our lives and into the lives of others around us in loving service.
Does God rule in your life? We might cringe at this thought. We don’t much like people even God to rule over us. To that end I have a couple questions for you to ponder. Do you see God ruling like a despot, yelling out rules and punishing every chance God gets. Or do you see the rule of God as the Lord’s prayer teaches us, like a loving parent who can admonish, but also reassures, blesses and guides us each day until God’s kingdom comes fully?
Finally, what does Gods kingdom look like to you? Do you see it? If not what gets in the way? If you do see it, what enables you to see such a sight?