Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Kingdom Come…
When our kids were younger, my wife and I wanted them to have the experience of gardening so they would have a little more connection to the earth and a sense of the process of where our food comes from. We lived in a condo where there wasn’t much room in our small backyard, so when the opportunity came up to participate in a new community garden on a small vacant space in Camarillo we decided we would join.
Soon we were doing workdays with other folks from the community as we built wooden boxes and hauled in soil for raised beds. It was an exciting day when we planted seeds with our kids and talked about what they would grow into. Even as adults, my wife and I were struck with the miracle of how the tiny seeds we planted grew into vines four feet tall with all kinds of beans to pick, and all we really did was some weeding and watering.
One of the favorite images that Jesus uses to describe the kingdom of God in the Bible is that of a seed. He says, “God’s kingdom is like what happens when a farmer scatters seed in a field. The farmer sleeps at night and is up and around during the day. Yet the seeds keep sprouting and growing, and he doesn’t understand how. It is like what happens when a mustard seed is planted in the ground. Once it is planted, it grows larger than any garden plant. It even puts out branches that are big enough for birds to nest in its shade.
God’s kingdom is not so much a place as it is a movement of growth. The word, kingdom, both in the Aramaic that Jesus spoke and in the Greek of the New Testament actually means kingship. It refers to the ruling or reigning activity of God in rescuing people from sin and bringing about a new creation. When we pray “Thy kingdom come…” we are asking God’s reign to grow in our lives. We are asking God’s reign to become bigger within us so that it reaches out and brings shelter to others, like branches on a tree.
The reign of God’s love comes to us like a farmer scattering seed, but are there ways we can be more open to it, so it can take root? Is this where the next line of the Lord’s prayer comes in to play as we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?” Can we water the kingdom seed planted in us through prayer and acts of service so that it grows to bear the fruits of the Spirit?
-Pastor Erik Goehner