Magazine article The Christian Century

Reoriented

Magazine article The Christian Century

Reoriented

Article excerpt

Week after week, day after day, Christians pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy be done, on earth as it is in heaven." But the kingdom doesn't come. If heaven stands for the realm where God's shalom reigns fully and freely, then the gap between heaven and earth never closes, and at times it only seems to widen.

These days, we look around and see decades of hostility between Israel and Palestinians erupting once more in a deadly conflict in the midst of a civilian population. We see how greed and outright malfeasance on Wall Street and Main Street have led to an economic meltdown and suffering around the world. As always, it is the people at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder who suffer the most from these catastrophes. New evidence is showing that the U.S. has, despite its public disavowals, tortured suspects in the war on terrorism. Susan Crawford, a top official overseeing military trials, revealed in the waning days of the Bush adminstration that, in her view, the "advanced interrogation techniques" used on a Saudi man in 2002 constituted torture--which is why the man's case could not be prosecuted.

If praying "thy kingdom come" is to have any integrity, it must start as lament--lament for the gap between God's realm of peace and justice and reality as we know it. …

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