“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Lately these words have been following me. I taught them at Summer Bible Camp. They follow me in my thoughts. I hear them in the words of my mentors. They follow me to Church, and they unveil themselves in my favorite songs.
I distinctly remember them from my past. I learned the Lord’s Prayer as a young child sitting in the pews. The pastor would pray, and at the end of his prayer, the congregation would recite the prayer. For a split second I would raise my head and look around. My six year old eyes would steal a glance and scan the congregation as they prayed. The monotone voices seemed to rise out of the air itself. As quickly as the words began, they would end.
What could “Thy Kingdom Come” mean? I pictured crowns, white horses, castles and princesses.
Then as a young adult I hear the words again in Church, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. My pastor asks, “How is God’s will done in heaven?” “Swiftly and obediently,” he answers.
The fact is we’re quite incapable of executing His will on our own. Still, while we live on earth Jesus gave us this prayer to pray.
The words echo in my mind when I sing, “Build your Kingdom here” (Rend Collective). One of my favorite songs Tracing Scars by The People of Mars Hill reminds me of those words,
“The Kingdom is coming, it’s falling from heaven to earth.
Responding to cries from the broken, the shattered, the burned…
You call us to touch You and trace out the scars in Your side,
I’m learning it’s less a question of what is the kingdom, and more like who is the kingdom. The people redeemed by the scars in Christ’s hands are the ones who bring a glimmering of the kingdom down to earth. When they extend their hands they respond out of thankfulness to Christ.
God’s Kingdom falls to earth when his servants are transformed and find Jesus worthy to follow. Yes, because Jesus is worthy, may His will be done as swiftly and clearly as it is done in heaven.
Suddenly I see His kingdom “falling from heaven to earth”. I see it among my peers in college and at Church; I see it at Light of the Village and Camp Faith. It’s in every person who holds the hand of one who has lost a loved one. It’s in people who are stubbornly determined to follow Jesus—whatever changes or new seasons it may bring them. It happens when a child in need of shoes is given them. It shows when Christ’s followers extend grace to the criminal, the confused or those who don’t fit in.
Jesus is the Light of the world. Hope stirs gently on earth because Jesus works through the hands of those who follow him, bringing light from his Kingdom that cannot be extinguished.