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The Second Petition


One of the more difficult things for us in the United States to understand is the kingdom language that is found throughout the scripture. This is in large part because we have all grown up in a country that has never had a king and has no desire to have one. We are an independent people. This is something that is deeply ingrained in us. We believe in rule by the consent of the governed. You cannot make me do something without my consent. As with many things, there are positives and negatives here. The positive aspect of our government, at least in its ideal form, is the checks and balances that are placed on power. When our government was founded, it was founded with the idea in mind that man is inherently sinful and that power is corrupting. A person could not be given absolute control because there is no one who is truly good. The negative aspect of this is that we take the idea of self-governance too far. We become our own sources of infallible knowledge. We treat everyone else as if they must live up to our standards, and if they do not, they are wrong. Another negative aspect of all of this is that we question anyone or anything in a position of power. This is something we need to learn to scripturally.


Question # 123


The second petition of the Lord's prayer deals with the subject of kingdoms. In it, we ask the Lord for his kingdom to come. In this request is the explicit idea of the Kingship or absolute authority of the Lord. One of the names of Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the absolute ruler of all things. So, if we are going to pray rightly, we have to understand the kingship of the Lord and his rule over all things. Then we can rightly ask for his kingdom to come. But what exactly are we asking for when we ask this?

Thy kingdom come. That is: So rule us by Thy Word and Spirit that more and more we submit to Thee.[1] Preserve and increase Thy church.[2] Destroy the works of the devil, every power that raises itself against Thee, and every conspiracy against Thy holy Word.[3] Do all this until the fulness of Thy kingdom comes, wherein Thou shalt be all in all.[4]

The first part of the catechism's answer is about submission. The writers of the Catechism understood the nature of people and our constant rebellion against the thing of God. They understood our need for more and more submission to the Lord and his Word. When we ask for the Lord's kingdom to come, we are asking for him to come and rule us absolutely. To be the lawgiver and judge of all things. To be the one we look up to as the source of everything that is good and right. The request for his kingdom to come is similar to when we say come quickly Lord. We are asking for the Lord to come and rule over us in a more direct way. To change us more and more.


Make all things new


In the second and third parts of the catechism answer, we can start to see a little more fully what our request entails. Here we need to start to think about what it will actually be like when the kingdom of the Lord does indeed fully come. That is because this is what we are ultimately asking for. We are asking for the new heavens and new earth. When the saints will live in the presence of the Lord and all evil will have been destroyed. While the Lord terries, we continue to live in a state of already but not yet. We are already citizens of the kingdom and even have these awesome embassies that we call churches. But we also recognize that our home is not here. We are foreigners in a foreign land, awaiting the coming of our king. So we pray, bring your kingdom, Lord. Come and concoure every heart and every mind. We are to be continually looking forward to what is coming. Like a child who cannot wait for their father to get home, we pray come quickly Lord.


Summary

I love the Lord's prayer. It is such a wonderful gift that Christ has given to his people. In it, we see our dependence on the Lord. In it, we are reminded of the glory of the Lord. It teaches us not only how to pray but teaches humility and reverence for the Lord. It reminds us that we have a home waiting for us when Christ returns. While we are here, we are messengers of the truth. We are called to proclaim the gospel to a world that will hate us for it. Some of the most gracious of saints have been killed for speaking the truth. But this should not surprise us. We are told that our message is offensive and that people will hate us. So let us continue to faithfully pray for that time when every tear will be wiped away and we will be with the Lord in his kingdom forever.


Soli Deo Gloria



[1] Ps. 119:5, 105; 143:10; Matt. 6:33. [2] Ps. 51:18; 122:6-9; Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:42-47. [3] Rom. 16:20; I John 3:8. [4] Rom. 8:22, 23; I Cor. 15:28; Rev. 22: 17, 20.

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