Christians are being heavily persecuted in Iraq. A police killing with racial implications are throwing Ferguson into what looks like a war zone. Gaza seems to be a barren lifeless land. Syria is such a horrible place we just don’t talk about it on the news anymore because the violence has worn us down. A beloved Hollywood star has killed himself.
Not exactly what I would call ‘Your Kingdom come’.
10 years ago I was in a worship service at a very large church. During the singing the leader said something like this: ‘This feels great doesn’t it? It feels like…’
At this point a woman in the crowd yelled HEAVEN!
Something like 1,000 people clapped in agreement.
This week we were in a smaller room with a smaller audience. During one of the evenings as the music was being sung and the people were singing and clapping the response I heard from a woman 10 years ago came to mind. HEAVEN!
It’s quite easy to compare church services (or whatever they are supposed to be called) to heaven. The singing is just right. It feels right.
Rarely do we walk down the street, breathe in the warm summer air and say HEAVEN! When we are at the beach? Maybe. On vacation in a tropical locale? Maybe. In the middle of some great theatrical performance? Sure.
We don’t say areas look like heaven when they are a war zone. But we should WANT them to. ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ Paul tells us God wants everyone to be saved and come to repentance (1 Timothy 2.4, 2 Peter 3.9).
War zone is an interesting word too. Life can seem like a ‘war zone’. Yes, innocent lives lost make an argument over the remote seem like nothing. War is war though. Messy lives can be just as much a personal hell as a war zone can be.
I’m not sure how we fix that. What we can do is make a commitment to live as close to kingdom principles as possible. When we do live with that commitment we live a life that has to be centered on Christ. This is why the work of planting new churches in France is so important. It isn’t just about statistics. It is about a pledge through prayer of seeing God’s Kingdom come.
An update on us:
We’ve had a wonderful 2 weeks. Continue to pray for us as we travel in support of The Fields of France. Our schedule is filling up nicely. How can we pray for you?