In The Presence Of A King

Father, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

One of the funny things about authority is how it can be so deeply associated with presence.  Just take a minute and watch how driving changes when a police car is present.  Or see the difference in a classroom when a teacher walks through the door.  We have something deeply ingrained in us that says there are types of authorities that are only to be respected and followed when they are present.

In High school during football we had a tradition.  The whole team would gather in a classroom before a meeting with the coaches.  Everyone in the room would be talking loudly, laughing, making fun of each other, trying to be tough, and just generally living out a small piece of teen anarchy.  But one player would sit at the door and watch down the hall.  The moment a coach entered the hall to walk towards us the person at the door would yell and the room would fall silent.  Everyone would sit in an orderly fashion in a desk, and the coaches would enter a silent and attentive room of players.  No one ever told me to do this, no one taught me how, but from the moment I was on that team I knew that this is what everyone did, and that the presence of a coach demanded something different of us (mostly, honestly because I feared that if I spoke I would have to run more and big guys like me loathed running).

We are, at times, in danger of treating our King in this same way.  In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven;” but in life we tend to live as though the prayer is “Your kingdom come, your will be done, when I am in church or small group or need something.”  It’s not that we are rejecting the kingdom of God, it is more that we fear giving ourselves fully over to it.  And maybe it’s even that we don’t live in the perpetual presence of the King.  God is here, He is with us, and His desire is that we would seek to grow into this prayer that His kingdom would come in our lives and in our world.

Matthew ends his Gospel with a word from Jesus that might be a helpful reminder.  The final sentence in this great story of the Messiah is “Surely I am with you, even until the end of the ages.”  There is no place we can go outside of his presence.  He is here, he is love, he is full of grace and mercy, and he desires to be our King.  We pray that His kingdom would come not out of fear or coercion, but because this King is a good king, and we believe that the way of His kingdom is the best way ALL OF THE TIME!

Questions:

  1. Do you act differently when you feel like no one is watching?  Why?
  2. What are areas in your life that you see God’s Kingdom coming, areas where his love/grace/forgiveness are seen?
  3. What are areas of you life where you need to pray and participate in the kingdom coming?  What are the areas where it is harder to see the love/grace/forgiveness of the kingdom?

 

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