In continuing our discussion on where we encounter God, I return to the Lord’s Prayer. We talked about the introduction on Monday. Today I’d like to talk about the first three petitions. “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The first three petitions are about God and our relationship with God. I like how Martin Luther states it, “It is true that God’s name is Holy in itself, but we ask in this prayer that it may also become holy in an among us.” How does this happen? This happens when we focus our lives on discipleship. God’s name becomes holy to me when I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in a life of love and forgiveness. When I live as if God’s name is holy, I live as I was created to be. Loving God and loving my neighbor.
In the same way God’s kingdom comes and God’s will is done without our prayer. But, when we pray this we are asking that we become kingdom people; that God’s will rules in our heart, soul, and mind. By the Holy Spirit we are empowered to be kingdom people. To live not for a worldly king or possesions, but for our creator King. In this kingdom, as Jesus says, “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” (Matthew 11:4-6)
God’s kingdom and will are done in our life when we follow our rabbi so close that we are covered in His dust. God’s will and kingdom comes to me when I set aside myself and lift up the other. I experience God kingdom and will when I live a life of discipleship in which I put the other first, when I show love even at the cost of my own benefit. I think the most amazing thing I experience in God’s kingdom and will is that when I set myself aside, in the very act of giving and losing myself, this is the only way I truly gain myself and participate in God’s kingdom. So I gain when I lose. That goes against everything that the world says, but that is where we encounter God. That is who we become: disciples of the King of the cross.