On Earth as it is in Heaven

My favorite line in the Lord’s Prayer is “on earth as it is in heaven.” The idea that Jesus wanted this life on planet earth to be a reflection of heaven has been a source of hope for me. I might go so far as to say it is the basis of my conviction that humanity is moving towards an ethic of kindness, inclusion, and generosity.

Then November 8, 2016 happened. Regardless of one’s political affiliation, this past election cycle uncovered and exposed some of the darker sides of humanity. I have friends and co-workers who are legitimately afraid of what might happen to them. Over the period of a few hours on that Tuesday judgment, hate, and fear was normalized. In my city of Denver a swastika was recently spray painted on the door of a local elementary school. The news regularly reports about re-empowered hate groups.

Have we taken a giant step backwards? My initial reaction was a resounding yes. I am beginning to wonder if that is really the case. Is it possible that the only thing that changed on November 8 was the shattering of my insulated world?

Hate, misogyny, judgment, and distrust didn’t just suddenly emerge on November 8. On that night my privileged political perspective was given a reality check. In a sense I had a 2 Kings 6:17 moment, where Elisha prays that the eyes of his servant would be opened. In that particular case the servant saw the armies of God. In my case I have been reminded that the world is larger than my particular echo chamber.

Can I, can we, still take seriously Jesus’ words – on earth as it is in heaven? Yes, now more than ever. It is time for people of all faiths to demonstrate to the world that we can respect each other, that we can live together without resorting to violence. It time for the church to be about inclusion, not just the politically correct type of inclusion but a radical inclusion that takes seriously the humanity of everyone.

My youngest son is in Bible College. I have enjoyed reading his papers and watching him struggle with his own faith. Recently he was asked to write a reflection on a passage in Galatians. He chose Galatians 3:28, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer salve or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” In his reflections he wondered what Paul might have written if he were around in 2016. My son thought it would go something like this:

There is no longer Christian, Jew or Muslim,

There is no longer straight, gay, queer or transgender,

There is no longer liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat; American or foreigner,

For we are all humans created in the very image and likeness of God.

This election exposed some scary things. It is now time for people of faith to start being the hands and feet of Jesus. Just maybe we will all be around to witness heaven right here on earth!

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1 Comment

Filed under Beloved Community, Christian, diversity, image of God, Lord's Prayer, politics, racial equality, racism, racist, responsibilities, Uncategorized

One response to “On Earth as it is in Heaven

  1. A friend in Christ

    I would suggest reading Ephesians 4:4-6. Paul describes the unity of the Church. There is only one faith, one God and one hope. Unless America makes the decision to turn back to God and take a strong stand for Jesus Christ, there will only be confusion and division in this country. Niether candidate was the answer for this country. Jesus is, and will always be the answer. With Christ, there is no confusion. Paul did write about the times we are in. Read 2 Timothy 2, and you see a prophesy of how people will believe in the end times. They will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. If we could only preach the true gospel again. Simply that we are all sinners that need a savior. Then we can confess our sins and turn back to God. “Inclusion” isn’t the answer, confession is! This country needs Gods mercy now more than ever before. To accept a person’s sin and not encourage them to repent, this is the greatest form of hate that can be expressed toward anyone. If someone told me that my sin was my identity, and that it was who God made me, that person would be encouraging me to not confess my sins and to not accept the gift of God’s forgiveness. This is where we are at, letting people believe that their sin is not sin and preventing them from repenting. This is hate, to hold back the gift of Grace, Grace that can only come through repentance.

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