March 9, 2021
A Return to our King
March 9, 2021
By Brian Hicks, Executive Director of Harvest Hands CDC
When Jesus was teaching us to pray—one of the things he said was, “May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) This prayer has impacted my life in significant ways as I have sought to follow Jesus since my teenage years.
The idea that it should be on earth as it is in heaven, serves as a guide for our living on earth. Theologians sometimes refer to this idea as, “realized eschatology.”
What we hope for in heaven—should be what we work for and make a reality on earth. Our ethics should be kingdom ethics. Our relationships on earth should be defined by the peace and reconciliation that we believe will exist in heaven.
Do we believe that there will be separate worship services in heaven for persons of different races and backgrounds or that we will all come to the throne of God together? Will there be one heaven for the progressives and another for the conservatives? You get the idea! If we believe in reconciliation in the Kingdom to come—what are we doing to bring this about in the here and now (the Kingdom of earth)?
It could be said that Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the King of Jews. This is certainly the charge that was placed above his head as he hung on the cross (Matthew 27:37). While Jesus did not come as a political leader—he did come as the one who brought the kingdom of God to earth.
Those who follow Jesus must be committed to God’s kingdom above all else. We must refuse to be people who allow any leader, idea or person to influence our life in a way that takes priority over the only king that deserves our devotion and commitment. Before any other allegiance, we are citizens of the kingdom of God.
We have witnessed what it looks in our country and around the world when the people of Jesus misplace their trust and devotion. We have seen the ways of the kingdom of God tossed aside for selfish ambition and political gain. We have seen immigrants mistreated, we have witnessed the poor suffer unduly and racial minorities experience vile hate. We have witnessed people who claim to be followers of Jesus fall for lies and engage in violence. As the people of Jesus, we must refuse to stand idly by and simply offer our thoughts and prayers. Before racial reconciliation and caring for the immigrant and the poor among us were politicized they were essential to the kingdom of God and our salvation (Galatians 3:28; Matthew 25). We must work together peacefully to bring about justice, healing and wholeness, so that the kingdom may come, “On earth as it is in heaven.”
As we journey through lent together may we die to any allegiance that we place before Jesus and may we return to our King. May we sing with the Psalmist, “Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere!” (Psalm 84)