Dear John, Dear All,
Yes, John, as you say "the heart of the matter."
When we pray 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth
, as it is in heaven,' are we just parroting something here, (let alone do we understand what we are saying) does this have any real meaning to us?
My daughter likes birds. We have a cockatiel named Karl Barth. Actually, Karl laid an egg last Christmas so the name has been changed to Karly. But, my daughter is in the market for an African Grey parrot now, so I find myself at an expensive bird shop from time to time. In this one bird store, I notice that sometimes after a parrot says something, it gives an exclamation of sorts when it finishes with a BWWWACK! And, as it relates to our present conversation, to be very blunt, I wonder sometimes if instead of a pause for consideration, such as the Hebrew 'Selah,'
as we see in the Psalms for example, we ourselves are not more like a bird in a cage who really does not know what he or she is saying.
So I think your questions are questions that need to be asked lest we start considering the mannerisms of an Ostrich now. When you ask:
John Charmley Wrote:. . . what is it we mean when we ask that the Kingdom of God should come?
Do we have more than vague ideas of what the Kingdom is?
Does it matter if that is the case?
How far does it translate for us into a vocation to live the Christian life here and now?
These question/statments can be interpreted differently by different folks I think. And, as you move to the subject of interpretation or possibly a Kingdom hermeneutic in the following:
Quote:One reason the Church matters so much to us is that it has been wrestling with these questions for nearly two thousand years, and can therefore provide us with a context in which can help work out our own answers; those answers are not 'our own' in the sense that we have to work them out and then assume they are right; we can derive them from the common stock available to us.
I do not think it is an understatement to say that we are moving toward 'the heart of the matter' here with great speed--'to the heart of salvation.'
Let alone knowing why we believe what we believe--so that we are not speaking as bird in a cage--let alone knowing the Truth (for ourselves) as true disciples of Christ, how can we find any degree of true freedom lest we join the conversation that has been going on for two thousand years now. Lest we actually participate in the Spirit of Life-the Life of Christ, which includes not always ease and comfort, but wrestling and struggling at times, how can we not just in reality be true spectators in the true sense of the word.
And, as it relates to sitting in the seat of the spectator, or choosing to stick one's head in the sand, what does this have to do with our daily prayer, when we pray 'Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven?' What does this have to do with the life of the Spirit of the Church? Or, more to the point, what does this have to do with Union with God?
That's right nothing.
And, I realize that there is a high degree of rhetoric being employed here at the present, but sometimes, I think, when one is trying to communicate to another who has his or her head buried in the sand, or has fallen asleep in his seat in the stadium, at times straight talk is necessary to awaken or engage in a meaningful dialogue.
So, hopefully, at the least there is cause for a pause for reflection in this post. God willing, we will not find ourselves in bondage to a system that leads us to 'believe' in the system itself over and above the Person of Christ. God willing, as we work out our salvation for ourselves, as we examine (dokimaso!)
ourselves we will consider the 'common stock' and 'context' of a Kingdom hermeneutic as pointed to by the Church. And, knowing there is a time to be on our knees or on our face, hopefully, what we are considering now, will be from a sober and alert posture which prefers the 'Selah'
over the 'BWWWK.'