THY KINGDOM COME
21st - 31st May
What a strange time this Easter has been with the Coronavirus lockdown. Technology has its blessings though for those able to go on-line, as we are finding in so many ways. This year so many have celebrated Easter ‘virtually'. The Church celebrates Easter for 50 days: 40 days between Easter Day and Ascension and then 10 more looking forward to Pentecost and the gift of the Spirit.
‘Thy Kingdom Come' is a global prayer season during this time which has mushroomed over the past four years. It calls on Christians to pray in a variety of ways, for many that involves holding 5 people each day in their prayers that they may know more of Jesus. Others in different ways, that through the Holy Spirit, God's ‘kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven'.
On Easter Day Pope Francis delivered his traditional Easter message to the city of Rome and the world.
"Christ, my hope, is risen!" he cried. He called this message "a different ‘contagion'", one that is transmitted "from heart to heart". This Good News is like a new flame that springs up "in the night of a world already faced with such challenges, and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family". In a similar vein at his Easter day Communion from his kitchen table at Lambeth, Archbishop Julian, said "After so much suffering, so much heroism from key workers and the NHS, we cannot be content to go back to what was before as if all is normal.
There needs to be a resurrection of our common life." He urged people not to "let fear dominate" and said that he hoped the coronavirus crisis would encourage them to reconsider how they valued one another.
As Christians have prayed and worked over the centuries for the coming of God's kingdom, and by doing so changed our western world, let us pray and work to enable God's dream to become a reality here in Horwich, amongst our families, friends and our community, changing our society and our world.
The first line of the Lord's Prayer which Christians are encouraged to say at least once each day, helps us find our place in the universe despite the chaos and suffering around us and the pain within us. We remember that we are not here by accident or chance, but we are deeply loved children of our maker. We are not alone but connected as God's child with all of humanity. Our Father is indeed in heaven, but this prayer is given to us by his Son, Jesus, who lived and suffered with us and who rose again from death to life in its fulness.
"In praying 'Thy Kingdom Come' we all commit to playing our part in the renewal of the nations and the transformation of our communities. We are not to bemoan the darkness, but to reimagine and pray to discern what
God is calling us to do with him to create his kingdom here in our time and place.
There are a range of resources for us to follow at home or on daily exercise which are available on various media platforms across the different denominations of the UK and our town that can be bought or downloaded.
https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/resources-catholic-church https://www.methodist.org.uk/ourfaith/prayer/thy-kingdom-come/thy-kingdom-come-resources https://www.churchofengland.org/more/churchresources/thy-kingdom-come https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/common-worship-daily-prayer-thy-kingdom-come
Chair of Churches Together in Horwich and Rivington