Wednesday, September 18, 2019
“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:9-10]
I remember a conversation with a parishioner years ago who was very upset with a Presbyterian pastor who authored a book critical of a past U.S. President. She was certain that it was not proper to criticize a President of our great nation. Yet, every Sunday we do not pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Our president and nation are the greatest, may everywhere on earth be like America.” Now don’t throw rotten tomatoes please, but the reality is The Lord’s Prayer is political. We are praying about a kingdom and not one of human making. Now, our word political is derived from the Greek word “politikos” meaning “of citizens, pertaining to public life”. Politics is simply the way we organize our public life together as citizens of a particular geographic area. And this prayer Jesus taught us to pray, reminds us that our citizenship is in God’s kingdom. We are first and foremost citizens of God’s kingdom and we just happen to live in the United States of America. Have you ever reflected on the reality that this prayer has political ramifications?
God of heaven and earth, I confess that I think of myself in relationship to my country of origin more often than with your kingdom. I am better acquainted with the laws of this land than with yours. Help me to remember that I belong to you and your reign first. All else in heaven and on earth are subject to your reign. Amen.