They Kingdom Come, They Will be Done, on earth as it is in Heaven!
The title above says it, really; we pray in the prayer the Lord gave us as an example those words; that the reality of the Kingdom might be the same here, that God’s will would be equally done here, on earth, in our city, neighborhood and street – just like it is in heaven! Think about that! What if…. when some one encountered us, walked our street, our neighborhood, they smelled the fragrance of Christ. What if they sensed the “light”? Ever been somewhere you left saying it was a “dark” place? What if? What if the taste they left with in their mouth was savory, leaving them with that longing for more? This is what we are called to be – as His people – those Ambassadors, living in embassies that are foreign sovereign soil in a distant land! It gets me excited!
When we read the four biographies on Jesus (we call them the Gospels – the books of great news!), we see Him constantly calling us to emulate Him, to have humble postures, to care about what He cares about, do what He does, have value systems like the King, to treat others the way He treats others – sacrificially, in deference, in such grace filled love that they see and long to know the Living God they see within us!
Some how over a century ago, there was a great and sad divorce within the church, as cataclysmic as the reformation. I mourn these sad divides within the bride of Christ, for He sees no division and longs for unity within His body. Yet this divide a century ago saw one group grab tightly to truth (the absolute of who God is that we might know the true God and not distort His image to the point where we worship an idol god that does not exist. The other group in the divide grabbed to the behaving like Christ in the world. Sadly, one compromised the truth; one compromised how we are to live?
We are saints who hold to the power of God’s Scripture and we model ourselves and our lives after how He calls us to live, encouraged by the many saints who went before us. We read, “The will know we are Christians by our love”, and the pleas of the Living God to live it out in so many passages, from the Good Samaritan to the prophet Isaiah (58 & 61 as examples), the prophet Micah calling us to love mercy and justice (6.8), and James telling us to live it out as manifestation of the inward change as saints. God in Matthew tells the story of dividing sheep and goats by their serving behaviors. May we be such.
Dear friends, there is NO divide in truth and that truth isn’t to produce self righteousness through piety, or even religious discipline – no, it is to produce the fruit of the spirit, a posture so often missing in our civil presence, be it politics or social disagreements. It is to be seen in how we posture our lives as living sacrifices – focused on those in need, mercy for people who wound us, who do not deserve grace, but we lovingly and with glad hearts offer it again, anyway. Have you ever been hurt, by another refusing to offer grace, but demanding justice and penance? It crushes – we are to be like Christ as Mary Madgelene poured expensive perfume over His feet and wept – her act of worship and repentance, and it resulted in a life transformed in very practical life, just as it did for Matthew, for Zacchaeus, for the Samaritan woman at the well.
We face a context daily filled with at least 2nd generation pagans… they are spiritual, but not interested in the Christ message they’ve been given, or the hostile church they often face. It is only in working to be a peak into the Kingdom that the walls come down, that they let us in, begin to trust us and they always smell and taste and see that the Lord IS good and that He does love them – but it is not learned in words, but only in our posture and actions. This is what we see changing our own post-Christian western culture.
May you come to enjoy the excitement of seeing God use you in the simplest things of giving yourself away in authentic relationships with people who long for Him (that Imago Dei – image of God – is imprinted deep!) yet they do not consciously yet know it. May you establish an embassy within your own neighborhood for the King and may you and your household be the ambassadors of our King.