“Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” —Matthew 6:10
Kingdoms have long fascinated children and adults alike. Fairy tales, books and movies tell of kings, queens, castles, riches and evil villains. We are captivated by kingdom stories.
Under the heel of Roman occupation, many first-century Israelites believed the Messiah would establish His Kingdom by force. With violent insurrection, God’s people would finally be set free.
Jesus cast a very different Kingdom vision. He preached about a Kingdom characterized by its love for the outcast, inclusion of the marginalized, compassion for the least of these, justice for the oppressed—a Kingdom based not on getting but on sacrificial giving and the faithful worship of God.
And it all starts in a most unusual way. Not with violence or coercion, but with a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Here for you, for us, for the whole world.
Choose a country or people group in the world today and reflect on these questions: Who are the marginalized people who live there? The “least of these”? The oppressed? Those who have never heard of Jesus? How would you like to see God’s Kingdom come to them today as it is in heaven?
Pray the Lord’s Prayer for that nation or people group, replacing the words “on earth” with “in [nation name]” or “among [people group name].”