Summary: Lord’s Prayer week 2 1 Peter 2:4-12 along with Matthew’s account form the basis for our look into God’s Kingdom
Recently I ran across an unlikely group of folks. Kennan and Cai; Elizabeth and Molly; Nicholas and Chris, and Richard all of whom have gone on their trip of a lifetime. Cai is a Chinese adoptee who will return to her birth land with her parents and brother. Elizabeth will show her 13-year-old daughter the nation of Brazil that she fell in love with as a 16-year-old. In those intervening years Elizabeth studied Portuguese and Brazilian culture in college and her daughter now is interested in this nation that drives her mom. Nicholas and Chris, are Irish Catholic, tattooed, from North Philly, and have been through it growing up. But they have not forgotten their heritage and the stories of the O’Madden clan of County Galway. Richard was raised in the U.S. but is a Kiwi by birth and heritage. His daughter Chye, pronounced Shy, have never met her relatives in New Zealand. Richard and his family aren’t just from New Zealand they are members of the Ngai Tahu tribe because of his great-grandfather’s marriage to a Maori chief’s daughter whom he called Rose. Their trips to China, Brazil, Ireland and New Zealand are paid for by the advertisers on the Travel Channel’s Trip of a Lifetime.
Yet these and the millions of others will attempt to take their own life altering trips. Some will hope to recapture lost memories. Some desire to reawaken or connect with their heritage. Others long to show those they love those experiences and places that made them who they are today. But the greatest trip of a lifetime awaits those who are followers of Jesus Christ because our citizenship, our heritage, our adopted nationality, and the cultural norm for us are founded in the Kingdom of God.
"Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." These two phrases are related. God’s Kingdom is the place where God’s will is accomplished. And because He is Lord of heaven and earth we can ask God to accomplish His desire here today, in our lives as well as in heaven.
Jesus’ parable which we’ve heard read today are about the power of God’s Kingdom to overtake all that is around them even though they start off seemingly insignificant. To grasp the idea of God’s kingdom it helps to understand that we are talking about a difference in the way the concept of time is used in the Bible.
Chronos is human time. Kairos is God’s time. Chronos is made up the hours, seconds, years, centuries and eons in which we live life. Kairos is non-linear. It’s a proper, opportune, and right time. Jesus condemns Jerusalem because, "you did not recognize the time (kairos) of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:44 NIV) It is often translated as "proper" or "appointed" time. It’s important to grasp this because right now we exist within two separate time lines. God’s kairos is eternal. Chronos has a creation and will have an end. In the Old Testament God’s time broke into our time through various people and for specific situations. Abraham is set apart to God’s family. Moses is called to bring Israel out of Egypt. We see examples of this when the Holy Spirit comes upon or resides with a prophet, a king or whoever.
The Christ event marks the ultimate event of God’s proper timing. Since then, those who follow Jesus find themselves living in two worlds. We walk through the ever-circling years, as the Christmas carol says. But we also walk within God’s kingdom because it has come on earth. You have heard some of the language used to describe our new position within God’s kingdom—son and daughters; heirs, ambassador, citizens and of the household of God; God’s own people—just to mention a few.
Tom Hanks in The Terminal plays Victor Navorski, whose nation ceases to exist while he is flying to the United States. He is not allowed to get back on a plane, but neither can he leave the airport and legally enter the United States. Frank Dixon, the director of customs, hauls Victor into his office to explain the situation to a man who speaks virtually no English.1
Dixon uses an object lesson, and says, "Look. Imagine that these potato chips are Krakozia."
Dixon: "So the potato chips are Krakozia, okay, and this apple…represents the liberty rebels, okay?" Then, Dixon uses the apple to smash the bag of potato chips, covering Victor with crumbs. "No more Krakozia," Dixon continues. "New government. Revolution!
So all flights in and out of your country have been suspended indefinitely and the new government has sealed all the borders, which means that your passport and visa are no longer valid, so currently, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t qualify for asylum, refugee status, temporary protective status, humanitarian parole, or non-immigration work, travel or diplomatic visas—you don’t qualify for any of these things. You are, at this time, simply…unacceptable."