Your Kingdom Come, My Kingdom Go?
When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him, but tax collectors and
prostitutes did. Yet, even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him
Matthew 21: 32.
All false piety, religious profession of faith, expression of response to God's first shown love proceeds in a certain sense from one illusion: when people say, "Your kingdom come," out of one side of their mouth and do not, out of the other side, also say and literally mean "My kingdom go." It happens when we try to have both of those kingdoms reign, simultaneously in our lives, when we say that the Lord is the lord of our lives, but in fact we are our own lords and we prefer it that way. When Jesus is not the Lord of our life, we will most assuredly lord it over one another. That attitude has resulted in the domination, competition and unbelievable temporal success agenda of much of western civilization. So-called Christians have sought to lord it over one another while saying they were submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
We cannot just keep on simply repeating and saying, "Your kingdom come" in our prayers daily when it is obvious we are preoccupied with our own individual or nationalistic kingdoms. Look at what has happened in the past and look at what is occurring here and now. Look at Spain, France, England, Italy. These were the Christian nations of the west. Were they really in love with the kingdom of God as are many Americans, with their own turf? Look at the so-called Orthodox countries of the past: Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania to mention but a few. What has their ancient religious Orthodox tradition done to make them persistent in faith, authentic faith expression and living today? Is the quality of their faith reflected in the kind of government they enjoy? Is the quality of faith, as it did in various Orthodox countries of the past but an incentive for Godlessness and its attendant neglect of man's spirit and soul?
How many Orthodox people are more interested in nationalism than they are in Christianity? Why is it taking us so long in this country to establish our own Orthodox Church? Are we genuinely interested in the coming of the kingdom of God or in reality do we simply want confirmation that our ethnic origin is better and richer than that of others? Do we want our own soap box in the Body of Christ or are we satisfied Christ knows what He is doing and sincerely desires our salvation if we but submit our will to his?
Are we looking for our emotions and senses to be titillated and tickled or are we willing to ask for a selfdiscipline which will unfold for us the riches of paradise? Do we wish for our Church what the Lord wants to share with us, or do we insist we have it our way? Doing it our way was the pagan song of a few years ago enunciated, is not going to bring about the salvation of our soul.
We have to learn during this preparatory season it is only the way of God which leads us to redemption, not our own fanciful insights or interpretations. How sincere then is our prayer when we mostly automatically utter, "Your kingdom come" but do nothing with any serious conviction to make it come about in our own lives.
Habitual spouting of words will not bring about change in the interior of our soul. Or in our life. We only mock our God when were are not serious and wish more forcefully to retain our own kingdoms for ourselves while lip sincking the prayer of our Lord
All we have to do is touch sacred cows in peoples' lives to find their real lordship. While they are saying, Come, Lord Jesus, the golden calf they are bowed down before, more often than not, is their own agenda and the agenda of or perceived agenda of their nation state. We cannot say, "Come, Lord Jesus," and live a fractured; compartmentalized life; Believers in the Lord cannot live that way!
The only real kingdom that has overall significance for us is God's eternal kingdom. There is not one better nationality than another, It is how we use our ethnic pride to achieve salvation that counts. If it becomes a detriment we must remember the admonition of St. Paul that we are neither Jew nor Greek because our God does not make a distinction in national origin of any believer. Our origins must be deep in the faith response we have received from Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Now that the Lord is about to come in the flesh, let us pray we can all say with genuine conviction and sincerity, "Your kingdom come!"