Last week we looked at the first petition in Jesus’s pattern for prayer, “hallowed be your name.” This week we look at the second petition, “your kingdom come.”
We all desire a world where justice rolls down like water, where sickness and death ceases, where God rules the nations and the nations rule as God would have them rule, and where we behold the face of our Father in Heaven with unveiled faces. Many of us have given up on such a world. We have become too content with moldy bread, when a feast awaits us. God’s Word assures us such a day will come.
The mid-nineteenth century missionary to South Africa Andrew Murray once said of prayer: “The disciples had been with Christ and seen him pray. They had learned to understand something of the connection between His wondrous life in public and His secret life of prayer. They had learned to believe in Him as a Master in the art of prayer – none could pray like Him. And so they came to Him with the request, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ And in after years they would have told us that there were few things more wondrous or blessed that He taught them than His lessons on prayer.”
Distracted activity can rob us of what is most important in life. Take Martha for example. You would want Martha on your team. Quick to roll up her sleeves, never shy of going the extra mile, Martha got things done. When Jesus came to Martha’s town, Martha was likely the first person to invite Jesus to visit her home.
Peace comes in many forms. We long for the day when peace between nations will end all wars. Our hearts ache for reconciliation with those we have become estranged. Nature earnestly awaits the day when her relationship with humanity becomes symbiotic rather than parasitic. Our hearts and minds seek a state of tranquility. Our bodies ache for freedom from deterioration and decay. Can such a peace that fulfills all these types of peace be found?
In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus’s advice to his guests becomes a lesson about life in the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus spoke this parable, he knew by his deity and in his humanity how our sinful natures twist us to selfish preoccupation. All of us have felt the tug of self-exaltation. Bigger, better and greater, be famous, have your 15 minutes of fame, be number one; you deserve it. This is the mantra of our culture and the futile goal of much of humanity. Continue reading →