On Earth as It Is in Heaven
Shea: This series on the Lord’s Prayer may be the richest yet. People are talking about how much they’re enjoying it. Who knew there was so much wealth packed into those 66 words!
Tim: This week we hit full stride with “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Have you ever noticed how, when you’re at church and folks are reciting the prayer, it gets a little louder with that phrase?
Shea: Part of it is the poetry. The prayer starts to turn a corner right there. But I also think it’s the first phrase that most folks feel attached to. Everything before “thy kingdom come” focuses on God. When Jesus introduces this idea of “on earth as in heaven” we think, “Oh, this is about us!” So we give it extra gusto. We’re funny that way…
Tim: But is it really about us? We’re still talking to God about God, still speaking in the imperative tense, still petitioning God. At best we’re vessels for God’s use. Do you think folks assume the terrestrial reference is about us and the heavenly mention is all about God and not us? God is everywhere and wherever God is, heaven is there too. God is
Shea: I see what you did there. Hmmm. Asking God to bring God’s kingdom to life in the world is a powerful idea. Of course, the kingdom of God is central to Jesus’s theology and ministry—this notion of achievable perfection, wholeness that arises from justice and righteousness. And it seems Jesus wants us to envision its possibility as an ideal we can replicate.
Tim: But the kingdom is also relational; it comes to life in how we treat one another and our regard for God. The greatest commandments are at the heart of kingdom theology: love God entirely and love your neighbor as yourself. God’s will is always tangled up in our relationships with one another.
Shea: I agree! That’s why I love when folks drop the “g” from “kingdom” to pray for the coming God’s “kindom.” The image of a householder with many heirs permeates this prayer. Kinship is its heartbeat. We belong to God. God’s will is what God gives and how God leads. We’re not alone!
Tim: Never alone! Amen. This week’s lesson has life-changing potential.
Shea: Isn’t that what the Lord’s Prayer is supposed to do? Change us?
Join us each Thursday in January as we deconstruct the prayer Jesus taught us pray in a new series, “66 Words: How the Lord’s Prayer Works and Why It Works.” We meet at 7:30pm CST at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake Street, Oak Park with live-streaming via Facebook Live.
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.