September 23rd, 2018
My Kingdom Come
The Lord’s Prayer (also called the Our Father or Pater Noster) is a venerated Christian prayer which, according to the New Testament, Jesus taught as the way to pray:
“Pray then in this way” … (Matthew 6:9 NRSV)
“When you pray, say” … (Luke 11:2 NRSV)
Two versions of this prayer are recorded in the gospels: a longer form within the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, and a shorter form in the Gospel of Luke when “one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.” Lutheran theologian Harold Buls suggested that both were original: the Matthaen version spoken by Jesus early in His ministry in Galilee, and the Lucan version one year later, “very likely in Judea”.
In the first part of the prayer we pray: ‘hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
In our current culture people want their own Kingdoms built. All our efforts at personal success, achievements, and profits are ample testaments to this fact. All the achievements of science and technology, our marvelous cities and monuments, speak volumes. Humans have established many kingdoms and continue to do so. A question may arise, has “my kingdom” got any place in the Lord’ Prayer?
The prayer does not in any way speak of total self-abnegation as reflected, may be, in a hermetical life. It invites us to build our own kingdom but according to God’s will. That is the secret of a happy Christian life. A Christian is not one who runs away from the challenges of day to day life; rather one who is searching God’s will in all things and tries to carry it out to the full.
Doing God’s will does necessarily involve the Cross. That is why Jesus said “If any want to become My followers let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
— Father Augustine