Moving on this week to the Second Petition in the Lord’s Prayer we first look at the petition itself: “Thy kingdom come.” No small request here! And then we will consider Luther’s explanation. “God’s kingdom comes indeed without our praying for it, but we ask in this prayer that it may come also to us.” And then the good Doctor explains when this happens. “God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life on earth now and in heaven forever.”
In our culture the use of such words as “king” and “kingdom” seem a little quaint to us. And we accordingly go back in history, to a feudal period, and have images of castles, knights, thrones, crowns, and the like.
Again, in our culture, we relate to a democratic republic for our government. And although we have a chief administrator, the office of the President is balanced by the legislative and judicial branches of power. The President is also limited as to his term in office and is bound by the restraints of the Constitution.
We are therefore better off to go back to the images of a life-long king as the sovereign of the land, and to the extent of his rule as to his kingdom. For this is more in keeping with understanding our Lord’s exercise of authority.
As Luther instructs, God’s rule is sure to come even if we resist it! We will not thwart his will. What is to be determined is how we will fit in to his reclaiming of his legitimate domain. Will we be willing subjects, or rebels brought to ultimate justice?
And if it is the former it will be because of the Holy Spirit given us in Baptism as we allow his work in us, believing his holy Word and living godly lives!
Since You Asked…
What does the Advent Wreath Symbolize? The circle of the wreath reminds us of eternity and our God and Father who has no beginning and no end. The green boughs indicate the hope of life being renewed. The candles represent Christ, the Light of God, who comes into this dark world to bring light and life. The four colored candles lit successively over the four Sundays in Advent, represent the patience required in waiting for Christ’s coming. As there were centuries of waiting between the Old Testament prophets and the birth of Christ, so we must patiently wait for Christ’s return at the end of the age. At Gift of Grace we wait until Christmas Eve to finally light the white center candle (the Christ Candle) to indicate that the fulfillment of the promise of God with the birth of the Christ Child on the first Christmas morn.