Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
I believe that God’s kingdom is close. And while perhaps not a physical kingdom as would have natural borders and barriers, not simply one where one is either inside or outside, but rather the kingdom represents God’s fulfillment, His restoration. We prayerfully declare this when we recite the words of Jesus from Matthew 6, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” One popular paraphrasing would be, “As above, so below”.
This prayer of fulfillment, then, is not simply a prayer for tomorrow, but one for today, not merely for a future kingdom, but for now…each day. Give us our daily bread…for today. Help us with forgiveness…today. Deliver us from our sinful desires…today. In so doing, God’s kingdom of fulfillment is growing through daily acts of restoration from what is not the will of God to what has been purposed by God. “As above, so below”.
Recently, there was a verse added to one of my favorite hymns, “Just As I Am”. The verse reads:
I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am
To me, “Growing God’s Kingdom One Person At A Time” isn’t about “adding” people to the kingdom of God, but about RESTORING them, MENDING what has been broken, HEALING what has been hurt, RESCUING those in desperation, FILLING those who feel empty, PARDONING those racked with guilt. Praise God!
As above, so below.