Lenten Devotional: February 23rd
"Your kingdom come.Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
Has it ever struck you just what we're praying for when we recite these words? I'm going to be honest, most of the time when I say "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done," I'm not thinking of specifics. Because if I was, I'd probably be a little nervous.
It is a big deal to pray for God's will to be done. Especially, since many times "our will" and "God's will" might not align. And if I really want God to make this world look more like the heavenly kingdom, I might need to realign my expectations.
In the heavenly kingdom, do I get to brag about my new iPhone 6? Do I have the newest and most fashionable clothes? Am I rested and lazy, lying luxuriously on clouds? I've never been to heaven, but that's probably not the case.
In Rob Bell's book Love Wins, he paints a picture based on scripture of a more "down-home" heaven than the golden one we imagine. Bell's version actually sounds more like Heifer Ranch than a castle. There's fresh food and the sweet smell of dirt in the air. People come together to sing and feast and praise God. His book talks about an eternity of conflict free existence, of motivated and worthy "work." He makes a really good point. And sometimes I wonder if I'm ready to pray for that.
When we read Love Wins in high school Sunday School, one of my students was adamant that this heaven was awful. It was boring. How could we possibly be expected to enjoy that? I stuttered and stammered my way through the lesson, but now I find myself thinking of his comments from time to time. It bothers me to consider a heaven that is not all about "me" and "what I want." Why DO we talk about wearing crowns adorned with stars if we are to cast them down before the Lord? Why do we dream about rest and relaxation, when this kingdom is ruled by a God of action? I don't know... but I certainly give this line a second thought when I pray.
I think it takes faith to admit that you're not sure what you want. I think it takes even more faith to ask God to do what God knows is best. That's why I'm glad we say it so often in unison, because I need the other voices to inspire me with their faith. God knows best. We'll see how heaven goes.
Lord, help me when your will counters my own. Give me faith when mine falters. Help me to better follow you. Amen.
Rev. Kelly Staples, Associate Pastor, NorthPark Presbyterian Church
Posted by DAvid Haymes on Feb 29th, 2016When Cherry and I say the Lord's prayer in Sunday worship we emphasize "thy."
So that we don't say
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,"
"THY kingdom come. THY will be done."
Just that emphasis focuses our attention where it needs to be.