Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"When you pray...." Homily on the Lord's Prayer, Part 2: Our Purpose (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"...Thy Kingdom come...." Luke 11:2a

"His kingdom is forever." -Martin Luther

Prayer is not simply words to the ceiling or words with our self. It is (amongst other things) an acknowledgement of a reality that is greater than us, a reality that is personal, who has a name, and has a purpose to work out. That purpose is not merely one plan out of many, a single option put forth on a cosmic menu. It is the only option, the only reality, the only plan that is unfolding and will be accomplished, rolling along like a great wave that is yet far off but whose coming is whispered by the lesser waves that caress and batter the shoreline. You have but two choices in regard to what is destined to come: learn to ride it or be swept away by it. The Kingdom of God takes no prisoners, and it will have no rivals.

There are no stock characters in the Kingdom of God, no generic cut-outs or plain cookie-cutter Christians. Every one of its citizens (who dwell in the light of its already-but-not-yet status) has been uniquely equipped to be a specific member in the body of Christ, which is the living inauguration of the coming Kingdom. C.S. Lewis called the unfolding, overarching purpose and plan of God "the Great Dance," whereby every point in the pattern, no matter its size, has its place and serves its purpose. The purpose that it was meant to have. When we pray, we acknowledge that purpose. Our purpose. We acknowledge that their is more to our lives and circumstances then ourselves and others. There is a larger picture, a greater vision, a consuming fire that swallows up all of our paltry preferences and dull desires into its brilliance. It is the Kingdom of God, the ripples and reechoings of redemption coming from the very heart of the Trinity itself. When you pray, remember that you are not simply speaking; rather, you are testifying that you belong, viz., to God and to His purposes. You are not some small speck alone in a meaningless void. You belong to a King, and His Kingdom is your Kingdom, and it is coming.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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