“Pray, then, in this way: Our Father in heaven, may your name be revered as holy. May your kingdom come…” (Matthew 6:9-10a, NRSVue)
In our ongoing sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer, I recently invited us to pray “Thy Kingdom Come” when we see or hear word of something going on in the world that seems wrong.
I don’t always practice what I preach because ADHD makes me forgetful, but this morning there was a story about how Mars Candy decided to pause its ads with anthropomorphic M&Ms, seemingly in response to the backlash from Tucker Carlson claiming Mars was “woke” because of recent advertising changes, like a female-coded M&M wearing flats instead of heels. Carlson complained they were “less sexy” and “you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them.”
My first reaction was to roll my eyes, but my second reaction, which surprised me, was to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” And I started to try to imagine how this story would be if God’s kingdom came on earth as in heaven.
Maybe we would be less reactionary. Maybe people wouldn’t get mad if women wore what they wanted, because nobody would think women’s value depends on whether they look attractive to men. Maybe Mars wouldn’t have been trying to sell chocolate by putting attractive female-looking M&Ms (?!) in their ads.
But imagining God’s kin-dom goes beyond arguments about advertising. Mars was advertising chocolate, and when I started thinking about what it would look like for God’s kingdom to come in this situation, I remembered that child slavery is often involved in the harvesting of chocolate. When God’s kingdom comes on earth as in heaven, no one will be forced to work for little or no pay.
I haven’t decided on any action yet, but I believe if we all keep praying “Thy kingdom come,” I believe it will change the way we respond to our world so we respond instead of react. And I hope it will lead to us participating in God’s work of bringing God’s good road closer.
Keep praying, friends.
Rev. David Schell