Preached on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at St.Saviourâ€™s Pentiction, OSL Eucharist Fr.Ron Barnes
Thy Kingdom Come
Each Sunday, you and I will stand at the Altar and say the Lordâ€™s Prayer. We will use the familiar words: â€śâ€¦ hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come on earth â€¦â€ť
Well here we are a few days past Christ the King Sunday. If Jesus is our King, and we faithfully declare He is, where is His Kingdom? How do we know if we are in it?
The word Kingdom is used in scripture in 3 different ways, each of which sheds a light on our Christian Faith.
1) At His trial, Pilate asks Jesus: â€śAre you a King then?â€ť And Jesus replies: â€śMy Kingdom is not of this world â€¦â€ť So the first idea of Kingdom is other worldly --- the Kingdom of Heaven. Starting on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, we have talked about the Heavenly Kingdom, the Kingdom that embraces the Saints and the Angels and the Faithful Departed. We enter this Kingdom when we pass from this world into the Heart of God. But it is not here, it is beyond this life.
So the first idea of the Kingdom of God is beyond this life, our destiny, the end of our Journey, Heaven in all its Glory, the Heart of God.
2) But Jesus teaches us in the Lordâ€™s Prayer: â€śâ€¦Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth â€¦â€ť. Thatâ€™s not a heavenly Kingdom, but an earthly one, a Kingdom firmly rooted in the here and now, one that will change the face of society. Itâ€™s the Kingdom that is found where the hungry are fed, the prisoners are freed, the sick are healed, and the dead are raised. Itâ€™s a Kingdom where the poor are loved, and the rich are humbled. The Kingdom on earth is a radical restructuring of our human society, eliminating sin and praising decency, mercy and kindness. Itâ€™s a Kingdom where Jesus is known as King, not in a ruling sense but as the acknowledged leader in everyoneâ€™s life.
When we care for the sick or the poor, we are citizens of that Kingdom; when we reach out in love and support to the depressed and the aged, we are citizens of that kingdom. as Jesus said, when we give so little as a cup of cold water to a thirsty child, we are citizens of that Kingdom.
3) But there is a 3rd Kingdom --- not just in Heaven and on Earth. It is the Kingdom of God that effects us personally, in our inner life. It is the Kingdom Within.
This Kingdom Within is where the Kingdom connects to our heart. When you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, you opened yourself up to being changed by the Kingdom Within. Without the Kingdom Within, all your good works in the world are just that --- good works. But with the Kingdom Within, your good works become building blocks for the Kingdom on Earth. The Kingdom Within is your intention to be the hands and feet and lips of Jesus Himself. And as His hands, caring for the poor and the hungry and the unemployed and the homeless, you and I are making His Kingdom Come, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Today we are about to celebrate the Eucharist in this church. We are about to offer the Holy Sacrifice of Christ to the Father. And together we are about to experience the 3 fold Kingdom. How I wish I could lift the roof off this building so that you could see directly into the Kingdom of Heaven --- the Saints and Angels and even God Himself with our Saviour offering the Sacrifice of Himself to our Father. How I wish I could push these walls down so that you could see the Kingdom here on Earth, with the hungry being fed, the poor being rescued, and the sick being healed. The Kingdom of God is around us and above us, and within us.
We stand this day in the Presence of Christ our King; and together we build His Kingdom --- Together we pray: Oh Lord, Thy Kingdom Come on earth, as it is in Heaven. Amen