Your Kingdom Come
Andaman and Nicobar islands are a group of 572 islands that are part of India and located in the Bay of Bengal. Around seven indigenous (Adivasi) tribes lived in isolation for centuries until the mid 18th century. Anthropologists suggest that these tribes may have lived there since the Middle Palaeolithic period.
The Great Andamanese, Jarwa, Jangil (now extinct), Onge, and the Sentinelese occupied the Andaman Islands, and the Shompen and the Nicobarese occupied the Nicobar islands towards the south. Among these, the Sentinelese are one of the few uncontacted tribes worldwide.
These tribes are highly vulnerable to diseases they contract from outsiders. Just as the new CoronaVirus killed many people worldwide, the common flu can wipe out these tribes as they have no immunity against it. As a result, their population is drastically declining.
The Indian government has a separate ministry to protect these tribes. However, there are different schools of thought on protecting them and whether the government is doing enough. But that is a different topic for discussion.
It is believed that until Denmark colonized these islands, the tribes mostly lived in isolation. Just the five tribes of Andaman were estimated to be around 7000 in number then, but today, they are less than 500. Sadly, they were killed either by violence or disease. Outsiders like the Danish, British and Japanese occupied their lands and exploited their habitat. We do not know if infightings and inter-tribal conflicts also contributed to their decline.
When India gained independence from the British, the islands came under the territory of India. Though the islands came under the control of the Indian government, the Adivasis have no idea about Indian government or the world beyond the islands.
Now imagine India as a kingdom of a great king who is just and benevolent towards his people. He wants to integrate these tribes and their islands with India and bring his governance, blessings, and welfare.
So the king sends two delegations  on this mission — one to the Andaman islands and the other to the Nicobar islands. The ambassadors are sent to negotiate peace with the islanders. If they receive them, they are supposed to live among them to demonstrate and teach them the kingdom’s virtues, constitutional rights and privileges as citizens of India. Introduce programs to develop them, bring peace and prosperity to the islands and provide sufficient resources to implement it.
The ambassador must disciple the natives concerning hygienic living, dressing, reading and writing in their native languages. For this, they need to develop their language, script and an education system that they can adopt. In addition, educate them about their land rights and the conservation of natural resources.
They also must monitor the Adivasi’s health by establishing medical facilities, teaching them a monogamous family system, creating fair trade ecosystem systems etc. Then eventually, help them to leave their witchcraft, polygamy, child sacrifice, violence, and superstitious beliefs to a civilized society where they could enjoy human dignity, equality, freedom, and justice.
When the Andaman delegation reached Port Blair, the islanders received them, so they gathered the tribal leaders and gave them the king’s greetings. But, instead of working towards discipling them according to the king’s interests, they spoke to them about the imminent danger of a Tsunami that would submerge all the islands and the king’s responsibility to save them from it by taking them to the mainland.
All they have to do is believe in the king and immediately register themselves at the jetty they started building. Then, one Sunday morning, before the tsunami, a ship will come to the jetty to transport them to the mainland. They must ensure they visit the jetty every Sunday, so they don’t get swept away by the waves and perish forever.
People believed the ambassadors’ good news in large numbers and were happy that they would one day surely go to the mainland to live there forever. They loved the idea of streets of gold. However, they did not bother to read the constitution nor ask the embassy to teach them more about India.
Many were faithful about coming to the jetty, but their infightings, unhygienic conditions, and sickness continued. However, the ambassadors taught them a few good habits. Still, it did not improve their situation because the ambassador’s goal was not to develop them but to take as many as possible to the mainland anytime soon. Therefore, they commissioned the people to visit nearby islands and tell this news.
After some time had passed, the numbers had increased, and the jetty could not hold them. So the embassy built mega jetties at multiple locations.
Meanwhile, a group of fishermen from the Andamans visited the Nicobar islands on trade, and they were surprised to see a different scene, unlike what they had seen before. The people looked healthy and thriving, neatly dressed, cultivating food, building cleaner villages and the children were reading and writing their language. Moreover, the practice of witchcraft and superstition disappeared in most places.
So they enquired about how this transformation happened. So the Nicobarese took them to the embassy. The Andamanese were thrilled to meet them and learned the king had sent them.
The ambassadors were also glad to see the Andaman folks and asked about their well-being and the embassy there. They were shocked to hear about their situation and the tsunami story. They asked all possible questions to make sure what Andamanese explained was true.
The ambassadors again explained their mission in which the king commissioned all the embassies in his domain. It is to bring the king’s righteous and just administration to the islands as it is on the mainland so that all his kingdom might be one.
They also clarified that the king never planned to evacuate people to the mainland. However, suppose the islanders reject the king’s rule and the plan to protect the island from invaders and natural calamities. In that case, the islanders will face alienation and soon become extinct.
Therefore, they showed them the king’s letters and explained the constitution. They said the king had sent them to live among the islanders and reign on his behalf but not to head back to the mainland. They explained how the constitution affirms that these islands are a heritage given to those who submit to the king’s rule.
This trip has extended much longer than they had planned. So the fishermen hurried back to Port Blair to share this great news.
Meanwhile, the situation at Port Blair has deteriorated. Jetty has become a hub for infighting, and the islanders could not stop the spread of disease as outsiders are occupying their islands. Though the anticipated tsunami never came, the tribes continued to decline, a few ambassadors died, and some returned to the mainland.
Though the fishermen who returned from Nicobar had little hope for their island, they went to the Andaman embassy along with other leaders to tell them about what they witnessed in Nicobar. But they turned a deaf ear to their testimony. Additionally, the embassy informed all the islanders not to listen to the misinformation these fishermen were spreading.
But those who believed them spent time studying the constitution of India together. They took the responsibility to reign on behalf of the king seriously. They boldly faced threats to suffer for the king when they confronted illegal practices like witchcraft and polygamy.
As the Nicobarese taught them, they prayed to the king that his kingdom would come to Andamans and that his will would be done in the islands. So with all that they learned at the embassy in Nicobar, they started teaching their neighbours as they were living it out as though they were living in the king’s presence.
Despite all these, they didn’t see much progress, yet they persevered in hope. One of those fishermen was killed, and another died due to sickness.
One day the remaining rushed to the beach as they heard that some Nicobarese had arrived. They were so encouraged that the embassy there sent some Nicobarese as ambassadors to Andaman as the king ordered. They were so delighted that the king answered their prayers and intended to extend his rule in Andamans as in Nicobar.
As the royal delegation makes progress in bringing about obedience to the king and extending the king’s reign, they eagerly anticipate welcoming the return of the king to the islands. They believe that day, all who bow down to the king, the islands and the sea appear as glorious as their king. Then neither sickness nor the fear of tsunami will ever touch the islands again. The king will expel those who reject him from the islands, and he will dwell with them forever.
 The apostle Paul, writing to Corinthians, uses the term presbeuo for ambassador. It refers to the emperor’s diplomatic legates or embassies in the Greco-Roman world. They are commissioned for particular assignments by the emperor; they represent and exercise the emperor’s authority. Their purpose is to make known the will of the emperor and to negotiate matters of commerce, war, or peace, and in general, everything affecting the interests of the emperor among the people to whom they are sent. According to Dionysius, they had the powers of a magistrate and the venerable character of a priest.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:18–21)
Jesus came in the flesh to dwell among us and proclaim the kingdom of God. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9–13)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3,4)
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–53)