“We live now between the inauguration of the kingdom and the consummation of the kingdom. We therefore pray that the kingdom which has already been established will express its presence more and more throughout the earth, until the day comes when, ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”
These days the words Your kingdom come are likely to invoke images of an epic movie with spectacular CGI. Some elaborate story set within a medieval period village of a humble peasant who rises to fame and prominence when he bravely liberates his fellow villagers from the tyranny of an evil and unmerciful ruler.
Obviously kings and kingdoms are no longer part of our normal vernacular, but in the day when Christ spoke the words; “Your kingdom come” His intent was clearly understood. Kings and kingdoms were then used to describe people who ruled over certain lands and geographical regions. Jesus was instructing all His followers to pray for His Father’s kingdom to be experienced everywhere.
In the opening statement of His prayer Jesus acknowledged the position, nature, and character of God: “Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.” Now he reveals the next priority in prayer and the sum of all life, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
We are to join Jesus in asking God, who is the singular, preeminent, self-existing, Holy One with perfect fatherly character, to touch everything in existence with His flawless rule. Scripture clearly reveals Jehovah as the only one worthy of acknowledgement as the one true God and He has made it clear He is to be honored, respected, obeyed and worshiped. Yet, He is not some demanding unreasonable monarch disconnected from his people. In fact He is quite the opposite. He is described to us by Jesus as the loving and unquestionable Father of life who firmly and affectionately cares, provides, and oversees his children with divine paternal quality and characteristics.
He is the Father of all creation, the pinnacle source for trust and security. No one and nothing can equal or compare with His stature and prominence. Nor is there anyone within His realm tossed aside as unimportant, ignored, or unnoticed. In His mind everyone is equally important because He designed and equipped them each for a specific purpose. He nurtures and weaves them together to produce a divinely interlaced tapestry of strength, beauty, and usefulness.
San Pablo is a small Kekchi Indian village in the jungles of Belize. place I was honored to visit this village a few times some years ago. It is located in a jungle valley by a pristine river that winds its way through tall thick tropical tree and bush-covered hillsides. On my second visit while walking a path to the river, about a dozen red macaws flew from one tree covered hilltop to the next, their call momentarily interrupting the valley’s tranquility. The small village probably contains a couple dozen families in all. They are hardworking people, live a pretty simple primitive lifestyle, and appear quite happy and content most of time.
One of its residents is a kindly man by the name of Quahkin. He and his family live in a small hut consisting of walls constructed from wood poles about two inches in diameter cut from the jungle surrounding the village. The poles placed side by side and carefully tied together for maximum strength. The roof is made from the leaves of Palm trees, and the floor of tightly packed soil. His wife, Naomi, cooks in a corner of the hut over three large stones that have been strategically placed to hold a handmade wire grill. Cloth hammocks hang on the walls and serve as beds for sleeping at night or the occasional afternoon nap.
The hut contains little else beyond a few personal clothing items and some handmade tools, which includes several machetes used for cutting firewood, dealing with unwanted animals and perhaps discouraging the occasional suspicious or uninvited visitor. Quahkin’s home is probably the nicest in the village and he is the village’s appointed leader or overseer.
I was introduced to this wonderfully beautiful and remote place by a friend who wanted me to see and meet these people and experience their uncluttered lifestyle. After meeting Quahkin, he was gracious enough to show me around his village, which was literally cut out of the jungle in 1995. He knew everyone and could account for everything that went on within his realm of authority. They are a close community carefully watching out for one another. In fact, had I not been introduced to Quahkin by our mutual friend, it is doubtful I could have just walked into their region without being sternly confronted, and, without a good explanation as to why I was there, be escorted out of the village.
One day Quahkin led us through the jungle along a narrow path to the river’s edge. Once there he continued along a trail beside the river pointing out the best fishing areas, the popular washing and bathing sites, and even the spots where someone had died in the river’s swift current. Then he held his arm up pointing through a clearing in the trees to a place in the middle of the river where a couple of big boulders stood causing the rapid rushing of water. He continued down the path to a location where we could walk and jump from rock to rock until we arrived at the spot he had shown us through the trees.
This was his favorite location in the lush green jungle valley, and it was there I had someone take a photo of Quahkin, myself, and two other villagers to commemorate my visit. Quahkin’s realm of authority is San Pablo and he takes pride in knowing and caring for it, as well as sharing it with those of his choosing.
Because I was with Quahkin in his village, I was granted privileges and extended invitations I wouldn’t have had otherwise, including the honor and invitation to dine in his home as his guest. I returned to the village just a few days after my initial visit and was greeted by warm friendly waves, smiles, and the joy of several young giggling children. Because I was well known among them? No, because I was known by the village elder Quahkin.
Just as there were things I got to participate in and enjoy during my visits in the village of San Pablo as a friend of Quahkin, there are principles, privileges, and characteristics in the Kingdom of God I am subject to and invited to enjoy as well. Not because I am deserving and worthy of them, but because I am known by and lovingly submit to the head of the global village and His realm of authority beyond.
When Jesus said in this prayer, “Your Kingdom Come”, it was to ignite a passion in all of his followers the yearning for the influence of God to Father to extend into all realms of existence. To pray for God’s Spirit to saturate every fiber of our being, to sincerely long for the things He longs for. To pray for His personality, character qualities, and purpose to infuse every earthly institution, civilization, and each individual dwelling within them.
When we sincerely pray, “Your kingdom come”, we are acknowledging and asking God to permeate all things, to submit to His authority, and to have as our sole purpose to bring glory and honor to Him.
If you’d like to know more about missions efforts in Quahkin’s village and other areas of Belize, check out Village2Village.