Thy Kingdom Come

I’ve enjoyed reading several things by the British spiritual writer, Caryll Houselander. I reently came across something she wrote about the notion of Kingdom that relates to what we pray for in the Lord’s Prayer when we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Houselander writes

The kingdom is in man’s heart; the patient soul who rules her own heart with an ordered tenderness, pity, and kindness, the mind that keeps the poetry of life in flower, even now, that is the soul who possesses the kindgom of God. But if most Christians, most people, had this inward kingdom, cherished it, then there would also be a visible kingdom, not a kingdom based on materialism, not a kingdom based on power, but conditions of life based on simplicity, brotherly love and sacrifice, which would make it impossible to go to war, impossible to have slums or destitution, impossible to have enmity bewteen countries, classes, or individuls.

What is in your mind when you pray the words, “Thy Kingdom Come”? I suspect that we don’t often contemplate the meaning of the line when we recite the words of the prayer. But we should. And one of the things we need to understand is that there can’t be kingdom outside unless there is kindgom inside.

Houselander continues, “We are told to pray it may come, and come it can and will, first in heart after heart, midn after mind, coming as the growth of love, as a light flooding the mind, until, aware of the wonder of it, we shall dare in Christ’s name either to live for it or die for it.”

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Advent as a Time of Creation

Advent is a time of of waiting, but also of preparation. We are not asked to simply sit back and wait for the arrival of Christ.

Carol Houselander calls Advent a time of creation, a time in which we are invited to let God act and grow in us, as God did with and in Mary. She asks us to consider, What will God become in us this Advent. Perhaps you might take some time today reflecting on her words:

In the beginning, the Spirit brooded over the face of the waters and God spoke and there was Light. Likewise, in the fullness of time, an angel announced to Mary and the same creative Spirit visited her and she conceived the Son of God. This Advent, our Advent, is equally a time of creation. God’s same Spirit abides in us – brooding over our waters – shaping and forming us, being formed and shaped by us. We are God’s creative works in process. God alone knows what we shall become. What might God have in store in the fullness of our time? In the beginning, God created Light. In Mary, God became flesh. What will God become in us this Advent? Is there room in us for God’s seed to take root and grow? God has visited us with grace and favor. Are we ready to become Light?

An important antecedent question, which may also be worth pondering today is: Do I believe I can become Light? For many, this is perhaps the more challenging question.