God’s Kingdom Has No Limit
When we pray “Thy Kingdom Come,” what are we asking God for? The Kingdom of God is God’s reign, or sovereignty: God rules–which presupposes submission, royalty and loyalty. But God’s kingship is much more than sovereignty. Omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, God condescends in immanence to make intimacy between himself and mere humans a reality of the past, present and future. To comprehend the manifestations that we have of God’s kingdom, we must first understand that “God is.” We should not limit God and his kingdom to a specific time and place; for those are human constructs, not God’s.
Scripture and creation help us understand: “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1a); “In the beginning was the Word…” (John 1:1a). Before the created order, then, God existed. Does this mean that in the beginning, God’s kingdom was not yet a reality? No – for God does not need us to exist for him to ‘be king.’ His kingdom existed before it became a reality to us. However, he includes us through creation, forming us in his Imago Dei (“In the image of God created he them”). We did not make ourselves: God formed the first Adam and Adama and was pleased with his creation. We all have one Abba. This makes racism an institution that is antagonistic to God’s kingdom. The kingdom of God is “justice, peace and joy inspired by the Holy Spirit. Those who serve Christ are acceptable to God and approved by others.”
Revelation 12:10 (“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming, ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah…’”) helps us understand that the kingdom of God is realized through the salvation and power of God. The Kingdom of God is, therefore, at the same time both revolutionary and yet salvific. We know that God our king will reign over us and save us, wherever we are—and so during this time of all sorts of crises we should pray and consciously practice feeling the presence of God’s kingdom around us, infusing our lives.
While in exile in Babylon the Israelites asked, “How can we sing the lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:4) But God’s reign extends boundaries. “Exiled” as we are from our places of corporate worship since March, our intercession to our King is, ‘Lord help me to remain faithful to your kingdom. Help me to worship you even in solitude, knowing you are Spirit and we worship you our King in Spirit and in truth.”
When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we are actually praying that God’s will be done, transcending boundaries, time, and space; we are praying that God’s rule shatter human constructs that mitigate against his kingdom of justice, peace and joy; and we are praying that God accepts our total surrender of family, community, state, country and world. “Thy kingdom come” is a confession of faith in our equitable and salvific God, who forgives our debts in the face of reconciliation with our debtors. God’s kingdom is here, but we crave for his new “hesed” every morning and his inspiration that will influence the way we practice our forms of worship and ministry.