Signs of God’s Reign
“Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” – Matthew 15:30, 31
When the early church heard about the healings that Jesus had done, they understood them as signs that the long-awaited reign of God had begun in him.
His healings echoed the prophecy of Isaiah, when he said, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.” (Isaiah 35:5, 6)
Each week we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And whether we call it God’s kingdom, God’s reign, or God’s realm, it exists wherever God’s will is enacted. In other words, to pray “Thy kingdom come” means the same thing as “Thy will be done,” because wherever God’s will is done, God’s kingdom has come.
It’s a radical prayer since it takes the focus away from our self and on to God. To pray that God’s will be done, is to acknowledge that it is not all about what we want.
The reign of God that was inaugurated by Jesus is still transforming the world, albeit often quietly and out of the headlines.
Where are the signs of God’s reign in your life? Where are the signs of God’s reign in our world?
Your will be done, O God, on earth as it is in heaven. We pray for the restoration of our world and the coming of your reign, in the name of Jesus our Savior.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer and author, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.