Christ’s Prayer, Part I (178-179/365)

“Father”. God is our Father. We are His offspring. We came from Him. Sure, we may have been formed from the dust, but the dust would have stayed as dust if not for the breath of life God imparted unto us.

He is our Creator. We are His creations. To coin the 3 o’ clock prayer, He is the Holy One. He is the Almighty One. He is the Immortal One, who is full of power and glory, and whom the writer of the said prayer appeals to for mercy, for us and the entire world. We can certainly view Him as such, and we wouldn’t be wrong. His greatness and glory are absolute.

And I suppose this was certainly how we saw Him. But we would be taught accordingly by Christ. For, see, before Je lay down His life on the cross, even before the latter steps of the ministry of reconciliation were taken, the disciples asked to be taught how to pray – and Christ opened, not by calling God Creator, nor by calling Him Holy, Almighty, Immortal… Christ opened by calling God, ‘Father.’

And He opened, not only by calling God, ‘Father’, but OUR Father. He did not call Him the Father of Israel or any other group or means of segregation – He called God OUR Father. Again, even before the veil was torn, and even before Holy Spirit was poured out into the Upper Room – The same Holy Spirit, mind you, who would have us calling God ‘Abba, Father’ – as early as this time in His ministry Christ was ALREADY telling us, that the Creator of the Universe and all that is seen and unseen – He is not only A Father to us, but He is OUR Father.

Christ is a master of time and space, and certainly does not waste either creation, nor does He waste His words; And I believe He was not wasting His time in telling the disciples that God was our Father – one reason why I think He moved to specify that He was our Father IN HEAVEN was because He did not want to get His disciples to think that He was replacing their earthly fathers, who they were told to honor as part of the Commandment. I suppose just as we would eventually know that Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we would also recognize God as Father of Fathers.

He is our Father, who is in heaven. Now I used to believe that heaven was up in the clouds, above the stars. I remember reading in an old Jack Chick comic, how he shared that there were some astronomers who may have found ‘heaven’ in the form of a vast ‘space’ in the far reaches of the known universe that was so and so million miles wide… and this fascinated me for a good deal of time, sure… but vast as it may be, I don’t think that God is some alien from outer space. In my current state of mind I’m led to believe that heaven is eternal and infinite – that is, beyond time and space, and is therefore beyond the borders of the universe, certainly not containable by boundaries, even if they are, say, millions and billions of miles wide.

Heaven is beyond distance and time is what I’m saying, yet not that it is separate from this finite reality – no, I’m not sure where this comes from, but if heaven was truly infinite and eternal, then we would recognize all of time and space as infinitesimal parts of heaven. Or maybe that doesn’t express what I want to say – heaven was here, is here and will be here. Heaven is in the smallest of particles, to the greatest of objects, and in the spaces in between, and beyond space. God is our Father in Heaven, and is with us within the confines of time and space, and beyond.

As such, even His name is representative of such vast power, and such great wisdom. His name, indeed, is worthy of all the glory and might that there is, and more. Honestly, I’ve had to look up ‘hallowed’ in the dictionary, and apparently, in our praising God, we wouldn’t be wrong in ascribing power and glory and might unto His name, but Christ’s choice of words suggests that we would do well to praise Him, beyond His great power and wisdom, we call Him ‘hallowed’, or holy. The nature of God’s holiness takes precedence over all His other attributes.

We call Him our Father in heaven, but when we ascribe holiness to His name, we recognize His infinite superiority over us. When we call God holy, when we ascribe holiness to His name, we are effectively putting ourselves in our place – that is, creation under Creator – second to God, who is first and foremost. To speak the name of God is not primarily speaking of His power and wisdom; at the mention of His name, it is His holiness that is projected before anything else.

At this point you may be wondering where I’m coming from with all of this – and by ‘this’ I mean this attempt at going through what religion calls ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, word per word. Well, I’ve had the pleasure of spending a little more time with Pastor Joedy in another Bible study that I only recently came back to after not showing up for months. The topic was the Lord’s Prayer, and I jumped in as Pastor Joedy was at the tail end, where he shared his thoughts on ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

I had my own ideas on the topic of the Lord’s Prayer in general, so I thought I’d write today, starting from the beginning. I also thought I’d write my thoughts, with the intention of pointing out that we probably should be praying it differently as Christ shared this before His death, resurrection and ascension.

So far, while we’re covering ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name’, I’m discovering that what Christ had to share – these words, anyway – was something for us to appreciate regardless of if this was shared before or after Christ’s finished work… But I’m not sure I could keep up this same theme as we jump into the next line.

For see, when Christ was crucified, something happened to the thick curtain in the inner workings of the temple in Jerusalem: This veil, which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the ‘world’, it was torn from top to bottom – as if to fulfill what Christ told the disciples to pray. For see, if the veil was torn there was no longer any separation between the presence of God and man. Many Christian sects would celebrate how the tearing of the veil was an indication of man being able to enter into the presence of God, but we also ought to appreciate that more than it being about man reaching God, it was also God coming to us! It’s just like how Philips, Craig and Dean sang it – God was Mercy, and because of the veil no longer holding Him back, so mercy came running, like a prisoner set free!

More than us having access to eternity, more than us having a line to the Kingdom, it was the Kingdom that came to us – just as the extravagant Father RAN to His prodigal son when He saw him from a distance!

What a beautiful thought! Because of Christ’s finished work, His kingdom has come, and consequently, His will was done! For what was the will of God? We would eventually discover through the apostles in their epistles that among other things, God’s will was for none to perish, but for all to come to repentance… and to put it all together, to repent is, as we would like to put it based on what we read from Romans 12 and in other parts of the New Testament – to repent is to have our minds renewed, and to have faith arise in us. And how does faith arise? By the hearing of the Word of God – that is, the living Word, who is Christ Himself.

We preach the Gospel of Christ and His finished work. We proclaim that God is our Father in heaven, whose name is exalted for He is holy and hallowed. We proclaim that the finished work of His Son has guaranteed that His kingdom has come, and as we proclaim this, we are believing that His will be done – that is, for faith to arise in anyone and everyone who hears this Good News.

So far this Lord’s Prayer has us proclaiming that which IS – ‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name’

This Lord’s Prayer has us proclaiming that which WAS – ‘Thy Kingdom come’

And apparently the Lord’s Prayer also has us proclaiming that which WILL BE – ‘Thy will be done’

May God continue to teach me as He teaches all of us, but the way I’m thinking now and in this moment has me realizing that if we were to try to understand God’s will in one word, it is reconciliation. Or perhaps, even better – relationship. For in the words describing how it was at the beginning of time, we were created in their image, and were tasked to be fruitful and to multiply, by way of celebrating our relationships with each other. We were made out of the relationship of the Trinity, and the entire process of us creating is our own celebration of this said relationship.

I’m not sure if I’m making any sort of sense here but I guess what I’m trying to say is that when we say that God’s will would be done here on earth as it is in heaven, we’re proclaiming that this reality would eventually bend to what is going on in eternity – God and all reconciled to Him by Christ and His finished work, in perfect union, celebrating full and complete reconciliation.

I believe what follows in the Lord’s Prayer, at least in the light of Christ’s finished work, are proclamations which shed even more light as to what it means for God’s will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven.

For we know that because of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and ascension, we have something far more formidable, certainly eternally refreshing that daily bread – We have Christ Himself, who is the bread of Life. So we proclaim that God’s will would be done here on earth. What does that mean? That means that we have been properly provided for – we have blessed with every spiritual blessing, equipped with all that we may possibly need in this life – that is, not with mere manna, but with the bread of life that nourishes not only our bodies, but our entire beings.

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.Romans 14:17

Apparently, before we taste, the Holy Spirit has already shown us that the Lord is good. And in so doing, no matter what we do taste, or no matter what we aren’t tasting, our entire beings have already been satisfied by the goodness of God, seen – rather, taken in as we have partaken of Christ, who again is our Bread of Life.

So the will of God being done here on earth is the bread of Life freely given and partaken by all who believe – We have Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, also ultimate Provision of Provisions. And this was before we even celebrate what we’ve been led to celebrate more than anything else – that is, the forgiveness of our sins. Our sustenance comes hand in hand with our forgiveness – it even comes BEFORE any forgiveness is even mentioned.

To recap:

So far this Lord’s Prayer has us proclaiming that which IS – ‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name’

This Lord’s Prayer has us proclaiming that which WAS – ‘Thy Kingdom come’

The Lord’s Prayer also has us proclaiming that which WILL BE – ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’

We proclaim what IS and WAS for us in Christ, and what WILL BE for those who would eventually believe – ‘Give us this day our daily bread’

I think I’ll stop here for now. I wasn’t expecting to talk this much about this, and I’m amazed… but overwhelmed.

More to come tomorrow. God bless you.

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