Matthew 6: 10
10 Your kingdom come,
The tomb of Sir Christopher Wren in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral in London bears the famous legend “If you seek his memorial – Look around you”. His creation is the very cathedral.
We once took one of the guided tours around an older, and in my humble opinion more magnificent church, York Minster. As we went around admiring the acres of stained glass, the towering pillars and the memorials the guide said the purpose of medieval churches in general and cathedrals in particular was to give me people a glimpse of the kingdom of God. To our modern eyes we can appreciate the engineering skills that made them possible but what if we were poor uneducated peasants coming into such a building from our rude one room forest huts? Would our jaws not hit the ground as we gasped at the wondrous sights before us? Would it not be easy for us to believe that none but those inspired by God could create such magnificence?
As an aside several years ago it looked like the conical roof of The Chapter House at (I think) Winchester Cathedral would require rebuilding. The structural engineering department of a prestigious university was given the task of designing a new support structure for the roof. The students, PhD candidates and best engineers of the day went off and with the benefit of several hundred years of experience plus modern computers et al set to and spent the best part of three years redesigning the structure. When their calculations modelling and drawings were complete it was exactly the same as the design dreamt up by the original builders some 700 years before.
But when we pray ‘your kingdom come’ we are not praying for our vision of God’s kingdom to appear, but for the actual kingdom of God to come.
But what is that kingdom? Jesus when he talks of the Kingdom of God, and he often does, refers to the kingdom in three different tenses.
In the past tense when he speaks of the patriarchs and prophets preaching in the kingdom. He speaks of the Kingdom in the present tense when he speaks of himself as being present in the kingdom. Finally he speaks of the Kingdom in the future not only does he instruct disciples to pray for the coming of the Kingdom but he also foretells of it.
What then is this kingdom we seek to be citizens of? According to one definition it is “a society upon Earth where God’s will is as perfectly done as it is in Heaven”. It does not say that the kingdom is a physical entity so it can actually exist in human hearts and as such can indeed be past, present and future.
If we accept the will of God as the driving force for our lives then indeed the kingdom is in us, and if enough people become citizens then indeed the Kingdom shall come to reign over the entire world in peace, love and justice.
So if you would seek the kingdom of God – look around you it is there, it is here and it will be.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, we seek you and your kingdom. We fear it is too far away for us ever to find it or achieve it but we know it is all around us, if only we would open our inner eyes. Open our eyes Lord, that we might see you.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,