Thy Kin-dom Come
Jesus answered, “My realm is not of this world; if it belonged to this world, my people would have fought to keep me out of the hands of the authorities. No, my realm is not of this world.” Pilate said, “So you’re a King?” Jesus replied, “You say I’m a King.” – John 18:36-37a (The Inclusive Bible)
The Sunday before Advent is observed by some as Christ the King Sunday, evoking the story of Jesus’s arrest and state-sponsored execution. Pilate asks Jesus if he’s a king in this world, a usurper or enemy of the worldly king, Caesar? Jesus coyly responds: If you say so; but this world is not my world. Jesus is the “king” of a much different realm.
Thinking of Jesus as an earthly king doesn’t do it for me. No matter how benevolent, a king’s power over people requires an underclass of obedient subjects who are less-than because they were not born into royalty. It means people serve at the pleasure of the king and for the purpose of sustaining or increasing his power.
But Jesus’s realm is not of this world, so neither is his power.
Jesus’ realm is not the kingdom, but the Kin-dom: covenantal, just, righteous, equitable. His is not power over people. It’s power with and for people. When we do the work of the Kin-dom in this world, we witness Jesus’s power through people.
We often pray “thy kingdom come on earth” as it is in this other realm. Proclaiming Jesus’s power invites us to move from words to witness to making the Kin-dom a reality.
May your power be shown and shared through all that we are so that your just Kin-dom may be made real in this world. Amen.
Chris Mereschuk is an Unsettled Pastor in the Southern New England Conference with a call to transitional ministry.