Part of the Communion in Times of Coronavirus series of gentle reflections
Jesus mostly spoke about the Kingdom of God in Parables illustrating or picturing abundance, grace, forgiveness, generosity and hospitality. In my view Jesus summed up his thoughts on the Kingdom of God in half a minute, in the words of what is often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer which can be said, without rushing, in just 30 seconds.
We note three key themes in the prayer.
The priorities of Jesus are seen here in the honouring of
- Your Name
- Your Kingdom
- Your will
The Kingdom of God is seen on earth (as in Heaven) where:
- God’s Name is honoured (not my name or anyone else’s)
- What we decide, do or say reflects God’s Kingdom (not a personal aspiration or opinion)
- The will of God is discerned and done (not my will or any other individuals’)
Following these words Jesus’ petition reflects where these three key themes are seen:
- Where all have daily bread (a world free of inequality, gluttony or greed, governed by the philosophy of hospitality and enough). Give us our daily bread literally means give me what is on my essential shopping list for my daily needs. The key item of course is food
- Where all debt is remitted or forgiven (a world free of debt), and a spirit of forgiveness governs relationships
- Where all are assured of strength/support in their times of trials/tribulations/temptations (a world free of isolation and loneliness, and wanting what is not yours)
- Where all are delivered from all that is evil (a world free, for example, of awful disease and crime, war and violence, waste and environmental degradation; where relationships are healed and reconciliation is real)
This is the kind of world where we see change and transformation of the world as it is. In such a world God’s will is done, God’s Kingdom comes on earth as in Heaven, and God’s Name is hallowed.
Or as the Prayer says it, in such a world, “Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory”. We see signs of the Kingdom of God here and there, but the Kingdom of God is not fully realised on earth, so we constantly pray, “Your Kingdom come”.
The prayer of course is addressed to God the divine loving parent and creator of all. I hear the words “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your Name…” in all people and all creation, all the time. Jesus captured in just a few words the prayer of all, and all creation, centred on the Kingdom of God.
This is a good daily prayer.
Jesus said, when you pray use these words.
Prayer is not meant to be wordy, or to tell God how to order the world.
I can assure you that I pray for you every morning.
What do I pray for you, and for all others I pray for?
I say the Lord’s Prayer in your name. This is what I pray for you and all people.
There is simple wisdom in Jesus’ prayer.
Use these words as your prayer, and use the wisdom contained in Jesus’ prayer for your daily life and decision making, always seeking first the Kingdom of God.
12 July 2020