We often come before God in prayer for an escape: an escape from pain, from suffering, from oppression. It is good and right to come before God in prayer for these, and it is good and right that we should live lives that offer healing and seek justice for all.
Today, I want us to bring our focus to the kingdom of God, both the one that we hold as our home in life beyond death and that kingdom that will yet come to the world.
As we prayer, let us not seek to escape the world to run to the kingdom, but rather to bring the kingdom to the world.
Let us hear these words and pray.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendour of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Almighty One, with your words and with your hands, the cosmos came into being. By that same power, you entered the world in the man of Jesus Christ and told us stories of a kingdom to come. You did not force the kingdom on us, but rather called us to aid in the building of that kingdom.
Remind us that the kingdom you call us to, the one that we strive for, is unlike any other we have seen. Remind us that for our world to reflect your kingdom it must be a place of love, of justice, of care for one another.
Ease our ambition when we would seek power over others. Help us to serve.
Calm our fears when we are confronted by the strange and the stranger. Help us to love unconditionally.
Remind us that while we are one, we are all of us, a part of a whole. Help us to care for one another and for the gift of creation.
We pray for the coming of your kingdom, but we also pray that you guide our hands and feet that we might make this world a reflection of your kingdom of light and love. AMEN