Recently I went to a worship service where one phrase of a praise song was repeated over and over: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done here.” I can’t remember the rest of the song, but after a while the phrase started to resonate with me, and instead of being irritated by the repetition (as usual), I started to wonder if I was willing to live out this phrase in my life.
This is one of the lines in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” But the song didn’t include “on earth as it is in heaven.” Instead of that part of the phrase, the song substituted the single word “here.” “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done here.”
Here, right in the middle of my life. Not just on a Sunday morning when I go to church, but here – where I live – where I am my best and worst self. Not some obscure place on the other side of the earth or even in the heaven I will reach eventually, but here. If God was looking for a place to put his kingdom, right now, would the middle of my life be a suitable place for it? What in my life reflects God’s kingdom? What in my life makes the coming of that kingdom impossible? Am I willing to let my life be interrupted by God’s will – here and now?
Think about it in your own life. How many times have you prayed the Lord’s Prayer thoughtlessly or even when you were mad at someone or had just been mean to someone? I’ve seen families come to church who were furious with each other – yelling at each other or fighting. Then the worship service starts and when it comes time to say the Lord’s Prayer, they bow their heads and pray it piously. As soon as the service is over, they go back to being hateful to each other.
Are we willing to put aside whatever we are making of our lives in order to allow God’s kingdom to come here – where we live – now? Is it possible to pray this prayer and really mean it? Can we let something we pray change even our own hearts? On that Sunday morning I had to sing the line over and over in order to notice it, in order to begin praying it, to want it to come true for me.
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done HERE.” Now in my life. Amen.