Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-12, (13-18); Daniel 7:9-10,
13-14; Psalm 93; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37
Today, the faith that tomorrow will be better than yesterday is not widely shared anymore in many parts of the world. We live in an age of division, disillusionment, and anxiety. As we worry about the state of the world and our lives, and while we seem to move from one crisis to another, yet we continue to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”
Where is that kingdom of peace and justice, the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed to be near? What hope that we will experience the world as it would be if God and not Caesar sat on the throne? When Jesus says, “my kingdom is not from this world,” he points out the difference between God’s kingdom and the kingdom of Caesar (the political and economic powers-that-be) in which domination, violence and greed are all too common. The kingdom of God is countercultural, subverting the dominant notion of authority and power. Even today, while we recognise that ”kingdom” as a political reality may seem archaic (sexist and empire-inclined) to many of us, we can well understand the metaphor as used by Jesus to challenge the conventional idea of power and dominion.
As we hear the words that the kingdom of God is near, and as we pray for God’s kingdom to come, we are put on the spot. We are challenged to uphold “kingdom” values of love, mercy, peace and justice. How do we uphold them? Do we have to resist the powers-that-be? If so, would we have to suffer rejection, just as the One we follow suffered and ended up being nailed for it? In whom do we really put our trust? Who reigns in our lives? If Christ is “king” in our lives, it means that no one and nothing else is.
We pray “Thy kingdom come” as hopeful people, trusting the good news of God’s kingdom, and recognising that even today, amidst all the bad news, the power of love, mercy, peace and justice is loose in the world and in our lives. Yes, the kingdom is near… Can you see it? Are you part of it?
-Leonora Jagessar-Visser ‘t Hooft, United Reformed Church
Your kingdom come, O God, here and now, in our midst, in acts of kindness, words of hope, works of justice, signs of peace. Your kingdom come, O God, in the joys and challenges we face in our lives and in the world.
Presbyterian Church in Singapore
Wisdom for the local churches facing challenges such as loss of membership arising from the loss of fellowship and on-site worship services.
Direction for pastors and church leaders to rethink church and lead the congregation to recover from the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and also for adequate resources and wisdom for them to navigate and minister to their congregations in this age of new media.
For all members in the family of Christ that have been negatively affected by the pandemic to heal and recover, and also for the community, especially for the migrant workers to be taken care of in their physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Image by PCS