Many of us pray the words every Sunday.
If we grew up churched, this means the words have been a part of our lives
for most of our lives.
For me, that puts the words in my heart, mind, and mouth at the very least, 3,000 times.
Add to that, serving as a pastor for 34 years, and that number could easily be doubled.
6,000+ times prayed.
How many times owned?
These words were first offered by Jesus in answer to the expressed need of His disciples.
Not just because the disciples wanted to learn how to pray, but because they wanted what Jesus had. They wanted to be more like the One they followed.
Pray this, says our Savior. Pray this, says our Lord.
Pray this and be the answer to the prayer in the way that you worship and live.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven…”
Bring heaven to earth as you worship and live.
In the life, death, and resurrection of Christ,
heaven came to earth and the power of God’s love and grace were unleashed…
fully, completely, irrevocably.
In Jesus, we see what heaven on earth looks like.
In Jesus, we see what heaven on earth lives like, worships like, dies like.
Paul unabashedly calls us to that same way of living:
“…have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!”
It indeed takes some dying to seek God’s will over our own,
to make good on those oft prayed words Thy will be done.
There is no mistaking it from God’s perspective.
If dying is what’s needed, then let it be so.
God makes it clear in this week’s scriptures that God has no use
for empty rituals with empty words.
God wants and demands words that are proven true and real through the actions of our lives.
In Isaiah 1 God has this to say about our words spoken and prayed out of habit not heart:
“I have no pleasure…
I cannot bear…
I am weary…”
God calls God’s people to live out their prayers and their worship
in ways which make heaven a reality on this earth…
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Luke 12:33
The words first offered by Jesus in answer to the need of the disciples must now be our prayer daily lived in answer to the needs of the world and God’s loving claim upon us.
Through our actions, through our ministries, through our lives, by God’s grace we are empowered to pull the curtain back, so that those despairing in earth’s darkness can experience
Kingdom’s Light—Heaven’s Light—right here—right now…
On earth as it is in heaven…
May it be so in you and in me.
Thanks be to God.
Sharing heaven’s work with you and thankful for you,