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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

03152017 - Wednesday of Lent 2 - “Thy Kingdom Come” – “God's Kingdom comes even without our works!”

March 15, 2017
“Thy Kingdom Come” – “God's Kingdom comes even without our works!”

When Martin Luther penned the explanation of the Lord’s Prayer, specifically the Second Petition, “Thy Kingdom Come” Luther knew mankind was powerless.  Luther’s explanation says as much, when he writes, “The Kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself”.  You see, God, Who created the heavens and the earth, does not need our prayer.  If you follow the logic, then if God does not need our prayers, we could easily ask, why then do we pray?
Just as in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve, the first humans needed instructed, dare I say, schooled, that God knew what they had done in eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  But the reality is that God, maker of the universe doesn’t need nor require our prayers for His Will to be done here on this earth.
Why then do we, or should we pray, if God doesn’t need our help or even our prayers?  Simply it is this, we pray with this petition, “Thy Kingdom Come” asking and imploring God that the Kingdom of God would simply and specifically come unto us.  We daily need to pray this prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, in order that God’s Kingdom would come unto each and every one of us and all of mankind.
When we humbly pray the Lord’s Prayer and come to this petition, “Thy Kingdom Come”, we pray this not just because it is part of the prayer, but we pray it in faith of God.  For “God's Kingdom comes even without our works!”  Our society says we get what we get, because of our works, by the sweat of our brow, by our very energy and efforts.  However, God changed this reality for Christians, when He went to the Cross of Calvary.  For when He uttered the words, “It is finished”.  The reality of ‘works righteousness’ for our eternal existence was radically removed from the vocabulary of all Christians.
The Kingdom of Power that our society believes in is shaken to its core, because when we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come” we pray not for power or a kingdom of power, but specifically for the Kingdom of Grace that God gives.  For it is God’s Grace that we have been given with our Holy Baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection and the Kingdom of Grace that we pray for comes not by our own works, but out of God’s great love for us.  When we pray in faith, like Solomon did, not for riches or wealth, nor for power over others, but humbly beseeching God for His Holy and eternal Will to be done, He that is God, loves us unconditionally and gives us the greatest gift of grace and His Glory for all of mankind.
As we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come” we do so in sure and certain faith and hope that God’s Kingdom comes, even without our prayers and God will give us a godly life.  And He would through we His children extend His mission here on earth and that He would hasten His eternal Kingdom coming and thus God will fulfill our prayer of “Thy Kingdom Come”.
This is why when our time here on earth is done, we pray this prayer, not only at worship and Holy Communion, but especially when we are ready to take our final breath here on this earth.  For as we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come” it is our prayer of faith in the certainty of God’s promise from His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ that He will come and take us to be with Him in His Kingdom for all eternity.  We pray this petition, “Thy Kingdom Come” with sure and certain trust, faith and hope in the promises of God for we His Children through our Holy Baptism.

No clearer demonstration of this comes than when I stand at the bedside of a brother or sister in Christ, about to fall asleep in the Lord.  One of the greatest comforts God uses me to be is when I am the instrument for the family and especially their loved one in my giving them the assurance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is specifically for them.  God does this through me as I share passages of scripture, but also by singing hymns.  The hymn we are about to sing, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” is one of the many that I share, because not only does it point to the Cross, but the humble undertone is that it is a simple hymn that speaks the truth that we are sanctified by the Cross of Christ.  And our connection through the Cross completes the connection we have of God’s promise to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sealed for us in Holy Baptism and that we lay claim to with our praying this simple petition of “Thy Kingdom Come”!  AMEN!

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