Thy Kingdom Come

IMG_20160316_182431914He’s finished supper.  He’s poured the wine, broken the bread, and left a message.  To live right, we must remember Him.  He’s washed feet, even the feet of those who will betray, deny, forsake Him, and left the second message.  To live right, we must serve everyone.  Everyone.  He’s sung a hymn, and left another message.  To live right, we must praise in our darkest hour.

Now, he leads his disciples to a place of quiet to battle for His soul before He fights for ours.  In the garden of Gethsemane, He leaves his disciples after choosing a few to pray with Him.

Kneeling, he moans, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39b –all quoted scripture KJV)IMG_20160316_182659910

Returning to the three, He finds them asleep.  Asleep!  He admonishes them to watch and pray for the sake of their own souls and returns to His wrestle with reality.  He anguishes and sweats blood. “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:42b)

We all know what followed.  The betrayal.  The trial.  The scourging.  The crucifixion.

But instead of looking forward,  let’s look back to another prayer of Jesus’ that’s recorded.

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

(Matthew 6:9b-13, emphasis added)

Not only did Jesus teach the prayer, He lived it too.

I first bowed my head and said the words as a four-year-old attending vacation Bible school.  This prayer took on more significance to me as I said it often with my class of first graders, especially the words, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”  I wanted God’s kingdom to grow on earth.  I wanted the church to grow and live pure and strong before God.  I wanted God’s will to be done and for Him to reign victorious as I know He will.

I still do.  Then I read something that made it personal, that made me responsible.  “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, ‘Lo here!’ or ‘Lo there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20b, 21, emphasis added)

If I truly want God’s kingdom to come on earth and His will to be done just as well in earth as in heaven,  then I have to let it be done in me.  This does not mean that the kingdom comes only by me or any other individual.  It means each member of the kingdom must do their part if they would see God’s kingdom come.

That’s hard, because many times the will of God is not my will. But then, the will of God did not agree with Jesus’ humanity either.  The following poem expresses that.

Doing Right

Have you ever had the feeling of being torn in two,

By what you really wanted and what you had to do?

You knew that you would choose the right;

You also knew you’d rather fight,

Because the right is rarely easy.

 

Friend, I’ve been there too,

But I ask you,

 

Can you imagine Jesus?

There’s sweat blood and tears,

Just look back over the years,

He died for you.

 

As He prayed in the garden, He was torn in two,

By the pain of separation and the job He had to do,

He knew that He would choose the right,

He knew that He’d lay down His life,

But, oh, the right is rarely easy!

 

He knew what He had to do.

He did it. For you.

-Yolanda M. Lichty

Easter 2010

 

Because He did it for me, how can I say anything but “Thy will be done,”  and I pray still…

Let Your Kingdom Come

On my heart’s one throne,

May You rule alone,

Let Your Kingdom come.

 

In the daily strain,

May my song remain,

Let Your Kingdom come.

 

When I lose The Way,

Bring me back to say,

Let Your Kingdom come.

 

Though I lose all mine,

You’re working to refine,

Let Your Kingdom come.

 

Through speaking of Your Word,

To the many who’ve not heard,

Let Your Kingdom come.

 

When the battle’s won,

And the work’s been done,

Let Your Kingdom come.

-Yolanda M. Lichty

12/07/2015–FB, Guys Mills, PA

 

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

A-men.

 

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