Worship at 9 am
10:15 am Sunday School
Pastor Glenn Zimbelman
|Evangelical Lutheran Church in America|
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Lord's Prayer-Part 2 - August 27, 2017
“Thy Kingdome Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
Picture of Castle
We say this prayer every Sunday with the words just rolling off our lips as we lift up this prayer to our God. But truth be told, it leads to all kinds of questions? What kind of Kingdom are we talking about? Is it this kind of Kingdom?
Picture of Queen Elizabeth
What kind of kingdom are we praying for anyway? Some have interpreted this to mean that we are praying for the return of Jesus! The world is a mess! Don’t worry about this world. Just pray that Jesus will return. I always wanted Jesus to return before finals week. Who wants to do all that studying for nothing?
His disciples asked Jesus to help them pray for the here and now. I do believe the answer to the type of kingdom lies in the second line, Thy Will be Done on Earth at it is in Heaven. Apparently Jesus wants us to understand that kingdom building happens on earth. It is part of God’s intention, God’s plan if you will. This leads to further questions. What exactly is Thy Wil? People make all kinds of assumptions about God. Did you notice that Thy Will often happens if we benefit?
Jan and I once for just two weeks attended a non-denominational Bible study. We wanted to do something together and thought being with some non-Lutherans might be good for us. Well we discovered we were not on the same page. At one of the studies, believe it or not, the wife was married to a Brewer baseball player. The guy was average, not a superstar, but good enough to make a bunch of money. The wife went on and on about building their big house and how it was God’s will that it worked out so perfectly for them. I could hardly stand it. I wanted to say, well, how do you know God’s will isn’t for you to sell that house and move to Africa?
God’s will is much deeper than simply asking, WWJD, what would Jesus do? My guess is that whatever we think Jesus would do, most likely it would be just the opposite. So what can we say about this kingdom we are praying for?
Be reminded of the opening mission statement by Jesus found in Mark 1:15
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news”
While repent may include asking for forgiveness of sins, here the meaning has to do with new direction. The kingdom of God has come near. Take a new path. Become part of a new creation. God is alive. Live, believe, act and see the world through new eyes. My coach/mentor in Ohio likes to tell his congregation the following:
“God is loose in the world”
If this is true, than it means a whole new radical way of thinking. It is attempting, as best as we can in our own human terms, to see the world the way God sees the world.
Jesus told many parables about the kingdom. Especially in Matthew we would hear the Kingdom of God is like a man who sowed seeds. The Kingdom of God is like a tiny mustard seed and so forth.
While Jesus told parables, he really acted and lived out the kingdom of God. Jesus was a kingdom builder. He healed people. He taught as one with authority. Above all, he lived the way of inclusion as opposed to exclusion. Lastly he gave us his all on the cross. So we pray then, for this kingdom of God to come to earth where that kingdom is acceptance, openness, tolerance, non-judgmental and especially the word we Lutheran’s know as grace.
Unfortunately, our world is anything but heaven. We still have racism and intolerance and judgments past with far too many of these actions done in the name of Christ. This is why we must always remember that to honor God’s name is to live the way of Jesus.
The second part of our message is the fourth petition, “Give us this day our daily bread”
Picture of Bread
During a Papal audience, a business man approached the Pope and made this offer: Change the line of the Lord's Prayer from "give us this day our daily bread" to "give us this day our daily chicken," and KFC will donate 10 million dollars to Catholic charities. The Pope declined.
Two weeks later the man approached the Pope again. This time with a 50 million dollar offer. Again the Pope declined.
A month later the man offers 100 million, this time the Pope accepts.
At a meeting of the Cardinals, the Pope announces his decision in the good news/bad news format. The good news is ... that we have 100 million dollars for charities. The bad news is that we lost the Wonder Bread account!
We were lower middle class in the Zimbelman but I was also a very picky eater. So do you know what I had for lunch in school for years? Baloney sandwiches. Two pieces of white bread with butter and a piece of baloney. Actually it is making me hungry to even think about it. Do you know what the upgrade was? A piece of lettuce. So this is what I thought this prayer was about. I wanted to make sure that I got my white bread.
Luther asks the question what does “Daily Bread” Mean?
Everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, and upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors and the like.
One of the Mount Cross Members would answer when asked, How are you doing,? He would say, I am upright and mobile. He used to serve in the Marines. There certainly is a lot of uprightness mentioned here. Essentially that means our relationships are healthy. We then have all the things we need to just get through for that day. Take a look at these words. We don’t have to worry too much about our livestock, but it is good to know that we can buy hamburger in the store. Faithful rulers, good government…well we have a ways to go, don’t we. But we also are praying for good weather, peace, health, decency, honor and why even to have good friends. This is quite a prayer if you think about it.
Daily Bread means that we ask God to give us a blessed life just for that day. And the next day, we pray the prayer and ask God do it again, just for that day. As a visionary I can make mountains out of molehills, I can be ten miles ahead of all of you and between you and I, there are times when I drive my wife crazy. I also am at risk of reflecting back, and thinking, what I could or should have done differently. Daily Bread means we live with no regrets. We don’t dwell on the past, or imagine the future, but claim each day for what it is, a gift from God. Daily Bread living really means for us to live in the moment, counting our blessings and being thankful. It is where we discover joy which is a topic for another message.
Let us pray,
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