Monday, September 3, 2012

Bonhoeffer: "Your kingdom come!"

“Your kingdom come.” In Jesus Christ the disciples have experienced the inbreaking of God’s kingdom on earth. This is where Satan is overcome, the power of the world, sin, and death broken.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Vol. 4, Discipleship. Edited by Martin Kuske, Ilse Tödt, Geffrey B. Kelly 
and John D. Godsey. Translated by Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss. 
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003.

How has the inbreaking of God's kingdom on earth changed your life?  It's a fair question, isn't it?  When we pray the Lord's prayer, do we really want God's kingdom to come?  Or, are we satisfied with our own kingdoms?  

When Jesus was in Bethany in John 11, He had one request before Lazarus would be raised.  Standing in front of the tomb, he asked for the stone to be moved.  A strange request, don't you think.  In a blink, if Jesus had wished, He could have said the word and the stone would have been catapulted into the sea.  But He didn't do that.  He made His request and He waited for the people to respond.

I like what D. L. Moody said about this verse:
It would have been very easy for Him to have commanded it to roll away, and it would have obeyed His voice, as the dead Lazarus did when He called him back to life. 
Moody, D. L. The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the 
Words of D. L. Moody. Edited by Emma Moody Fitt. East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore, 1900.

Jesus incarnate brought God's kingdom to earth and not even the powers of Satan were able to keep Lazarus in the grave.  But before that kingdom broke the barriers of death and the glory God displayed, the stone had to be moved.  I am certain that many if not all Christians desire to see and experience the earth-shattering presence of God in their lives.  But, before this happens, Jesus stands in front of our tombs and makes a rather strange request: "Move that stone!"

What stone in your life has stood between you and the power of God?  What stone has Jesus asked you to move?  What stone are you still clinging to for no good reason?  Move that stone and experience the inbreaking of God's kingdom in your life.

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