A Generous Orthodoxy
03-08-2007, 08:31 AM
a generous orthodoxy
If I may add something to the aspect of the conversation regarding that part of the Lord's Prayer which is "Thy kingdom come".
Like many Church Fathers the Syriac saint Moses Bar Kefo (d903), who was Bishop of Mosul, wrote a commentary on the Lord's Prayer, which includes:
"Thy kingdom come - That is: may Thy kingdom come and rescue
us from the devil who wishes to rule over us through evil thoughts
and reprobate manners [when God arrives to help us] straightway
[the devil] flees and trembles, he and every suffering and
Thy kingdom come - That is: that which is to be, and that which is
looked for that it may be revealed by the coming of Christ. But
perhaps someone will say: What profit comes to us that we pray
for that kingdom to come? And we say: Much. First, that we live
not neglectfully, but with diligence... Secondly, those who are holy
and virtuous look earnestly for it to come, that they may receive
their rewards... Thirdly, because this is proper to good sons, that
they be not enamoured of earthly things, but look for the things
to come and eagerly desire them...
Thy kingdom come - That is: He calls "the kingdom" the help and
succour of the Holy Spirit."
It is evident that St Moses bar Kefo understood that God's kingdom is both a contemporay reality and a future one, because, of course, for God
time does not exist, therefore His kingdom is eternally present outside of
and independent of our knowledge of it, and that we will, we hope, one day attain to this kingdom. The kingdom comes to our rescue via the Holy
Spirit, inhabiting this world but not of it. Remembering that Christ said that His kingdom is not of this world, we realise that it is out of the question that the kingom of heaven is or will be an earthly kingdom administered
by the Church hierarchy.
Another point to bear in mind is that many Monastic Fathers warned against the sly temptation whispered to us, namely that, if we get rich then we will be able to give greater help to the poor. The same warning would apply to those who seek worldly power in order to help others. It is
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a generous orthodoxy - kirk yacoub - 03-08-2007 08:31 AM