Your Kingdom Come

Founder of the Advent Project, William H. Peterson, wrote, “While there is scant hope of changing the culture around us, the Church need not be a fellow traveler. The call is for the Church to reclaim for the sake of its own life and mission Advent’s focus on the reign of God and in so doing, to hone once again the counter-cultural edge of the Gospel at the very beginning of the liturgical year.” Happy New Year! The Christ-child is in a manger; this is our new day. There are no fireworks, and yet we are the children of light. “Your kingdom come,” we pray, and it is a step in the right direction, away from a world that is fading fast.

Kingdoms totter and are falling in the distance. Crash! This is not confetti but pieces of the sky in our hair. It is a reminder that even empires come and go.

Advent reminds believers of the coming of God in Christ Jesus more than two millennia ago. The God who goes door to door, Jesus is the one we have been waiting for. The fullness of divinity squeezed into Mary’s belly, yet no one could find room for him. No vacancies. No doctors. No place to lay his head now or later.

Poor baby. Poor Savior. He enters and exits the world empty-handed. Yielded, he has everything. Yes, “he’s got the whole world in his hands.” This is why we follow him, commissioned to go to the ends of the earth to share his good news: “Christ came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). He has come and brought his kingdom with him. Where is it? you ask, and he answers, “The kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21).

It is both his prayer and our proclamation: “Your kingdom come.” And it will if only we would let him come into our hearts, if we could crack open the door a little so that he can peek his head in. One foot pressed firmly against the back of the door to ensure that we don’t budge, we will give him an inch and no more.

Still we pray, “Your kingdom come.” We know that he is already here, that Jesus is waiting outside and he has nowhere else to go. He is God with us but we don’t want God right now. Can you come back at another time, some other time, Jesus?

With arms folded once we concede that we have a few minutes to spare, to have a really little talk with Jesus. We only want to small talk with Jesus. Don’t ask for anything big, Lord. I still have Christmas shopping to do.

But, then why repeat after him? Why memorize his words? Why highlight them in red? Why frame them and hang them on the bathroom wall above the toilet? Why pray, “Your kingdom come” and then not make room for him when he shows up?

Reverend Starlette Thomas* is the Minister to Empower Congregations at the D.C. Baptist Convention. She writes on the social construct of race and the practice of faith at www.racelessgospel.com. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and Starbucks.

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