The fundamental announcement of the New Testament is that “The kingdom of the heavens is at hand.” This is presented as a fact both by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2) and by Jesus (Matthew 4:17). Then, when asked how to pray (Luke 11:1), Jesus suggests the formula, “Thy kingdom come.” (Luke 11:2) This forms the second core sentence of the Lord’s Prayer after, “Hallowed be thy name.”
So a possibility, a proximity, is presented, but it is up to us to realize it in both senses of the term: to become aware of it and to make it real.
Today we had a big rollicking group, and used our time to plunge into the idea of the kingdom. What is this great promise? What does it mean to ask for its arrival?
By the way, the “kingdom of God” and the “kingdom of the heavens” seem to be used interchangeably in the Gospels. There are many parables told of it, including the parable of the sower, which Jesus called the prime or chief parable. Steiner said, “In the end, we are always looking for the kingdom of God.” (lecture of Oct 7, 1922)
Meditative texts, demanding texts, are not to be understood with our everyday, worrying, bills-paying, ego-defending, calamity-cursing consciousness – necessary as this consciousness may be to life on earth just now. We meditate to lift our gaze, our very style of gazing, to the sources of awareness, the stream of world events from out of which the world steadily falls, the Tao or Way before it has become a concept. If this Way held sway in our minds and actions, the kingdom would be not just at hand, but present. It is already present at every moment that we consciously and intentionally live from out of our sources, waking and active higher within them.
Next week, we continue with, “Thy will be done.” What is that will? What is the will by which I ask that it “be done”? Why call it “will” rather than “light” or “love”?
All blessings to all,