Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thy Kingdom Come... in a real and tangible way

"I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." -- Genesis 12:2

This week's prayers and reflections focus on the "Thy kingdom come" petition of the Lord's prayer.
But I was most struck by the statement: 
Resolve to bless at least one other person in a tangible way this week.

TANGIBLE... how to make God's blessings real and tangible...
Or asked another way: how to help make Christ's reign come on earth RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

Then I thought of a quotation I heard recently from Teresa of Avila (1515–1582). 
(Thank you Rev. Andy Smith, pastor of Clarkton Presbyterian Church!)

"Christ has no body but yours,No hands, no feet on earth but yours,Yours are the eyes with which he looksCompassion on this world,Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,Yours are the eyes, you are his body.Christ has no body now but yours,No hands, no feet on earth but yours,Yours are the eyes with which he lookscompassion on this world.Christ has no body now on earth but yours."

How many times have I prayed and asked God
to change a situation
or make something right
or be with someone who was lonely or suffering?

It's a good prayer, an important prayer, an intercessory prayer, perhaps even a righteous prayer.
But did I put "feet" on my prayer?

Perhaps sometimes WE are the answer to our own prayers.  Maybe God's will, God's answer to my prayer for someone else, was for ME to get off my knees and work to change the situation, to make that something right, and to go BE WITH the lonely and suffering.  

Maybe God's will, God's answer to the prayer, was for me to be CHRIST's BODY here on earth.

I think of the words often prayed at the celebration of the Lord's Supper:
"Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and cup.
Make them be for us the communion of the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ,
redeemed by his blood."
That we may be for the world the body of Christ.

Or as another of my favorite prayers ends by saying:
"When our eyes open again,
may we do so not to end our devotions
but to expect your kingdom come,
for Jesus' sake. Amen."
Let us make Christ's love REAL and TANGIBLE for others.
It's in your hands and feet, God's own for the world.

Questions for reflection: (share your thoughts in the comments below)
  • Where have you seen TANGIBLE evidence of Christ's reign in your life this week?
  • How do you need God to intervene in the real circumstances of your life to bring his reign in an even greater measure?

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