On Earth as It Is in Heaven

November 6, 2013 @ 01:38 pm by Jacqui Lewis

On earth as it is in heaven. We pray this every Sunday. We name our God as Holy Parent, just like Jesus did, and then we ask for it to be on earth as it is in heaven.

I admit that when I was young, I thought of heaven as a place with pearly gates and streets paved in gold. There are images like this in the Bible, and those inform spirituals and hymns. I came to think of heaven as a place like Oz, over the rainbow; a place up in the sky where "troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops..." 

Now, my dreams of heaven conjure prophetic promises, like the one in John's Revelation.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and God will dwell with them. They will be God's people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
—Revelation 21.3—4

John's dream, and mine is that God is so fully with us that the old order of things passes away. What is the old order of things? Greed that overrides kindness, the violent taking of others' belongings and their power, and the false sense that there is not enough for all in creation. These ideas disappear in the full presence of God. With the full presence of God, and the assurance that we are God's people, we have an identity shift. Being the people of God makes us partners with God in the healing of the world, in the coming of the bold new vision of peace and shalom for all. This peace is not just the absence of war, but the presence of harmony.

The Lord's Prayer invites God's Reign to come fully, right this moment. It is aspirational and urgent. We pray this prayer sometimes on automatic pilot, be when we do, we are inviting no less than a revolution.
And friends, at Middle Church, we pray this prayer with our lives. We pray it when we do mission to the Rockaways, or to New Orleans. We pray it in our feeding programs, like Butterfly meals, the food coupons we give to those in need (Met dollars), and our soon coming Soul Food Truck. When we work for God's Economy, we embody the prayer, "on earth, as it is in heaven." Your partnership, your kind and consistent donation of time, talent, and treasure: this is prayer, Middle family!

On earth, as it is in heaven. This is a prayer aimed to change the world, to heal it, and transform it. When we do justice, we pray this prayer. Thank you for praying this with me.

About This Blog

Preparing ethical leaders for a just society. Posts by Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister.

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