We have moved to Okinawa, Japan since my last post, and this morning we sat in church at the American base chapel listening to a local woman named Veruca who had been asked to pray the Lord’s Prayer over us in Japanese. Whenever I have the opportunity to hear Christians pray or worship the Lord in another language or cultural tradition, it invariably gets me thinking about what heaven will be like, when people from every tribe, tongue and nation will worship the Lord together (Rev. 7:9). I know the nature and character of our marvelous, mysterious, good, good God enough to know that that is not going to be anywhere near as stuffy and boring as we imagine it. But praise Him we will.
What struck me suddenly, though, as I listened to that familiar prayer in an unfamiliar language, is that when that day comes, we’re not going to pray this prayer anymore. We’re not going to need to ask Him for these things anymore! It was a startling but sweet realization to discover that even the precious words our dear Savior taught us to help us communicate with right heart and right request to the Father will have been transformed, along with our very selves, and all things.
Come and take a look for yourself:
Indeed, He is.
“ So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” –Galatians 3:26
“’And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:18
Who art in heaven
Just as God came down to earth and walked with Adam and Eve, and as He came to dwell with us in human form in Christ, He will once again come down to dwell with us, bringing heaven to earth. We don’t often hear this talked about in church, where the focus tends to be on “going to heaven” when we die, which is not inappropriate, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of our future home. We are spiritual beings, yes, but who we are is also intricately tied to our bodies, which will be resurrected! Having formed us from the very soil of the earth, perhaps the Lord knows that earth is where we belong? I don’t claim to be well-educated in this area of theology and eschatology, but Scripture points toward this unified heaven on earth as the glorious destination of those who place their hope in Christ. What a kind and loving God, that He would come down and make His home with us.
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” –Revelation 21:2-3
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” –2 Corinthians 6:16
Hallowed be Thy name
Hallowed means to be greatly revered and honored as holy (holy = set apart, like no other, thoroughly good and pure). The world at large does not honor the Lord or revere His name, and even those who love Him have yet to see and acknowledge fully His majesty. But one day, we will understand who He really is, and we will worship Him in awe.
“It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will acknowledge God.” -Romans 14:11 (see Philippians 2 for an explanation of why this statement is coming from a place of humility, not arrogance. Plus, He is the Creator of the universe and all…)
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’” –Revelation 5:13
Thy Kingdom come
It will have come!
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.’” –Revelation 11:15
Thy will be done
It will be done, past, present, and future tense.
“…The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve Him.” –Revelation 22:3
“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. This is the end of the matter.” –Daniel 7:27-28a
“…’It is finished.’” –John 19:30
On earth as it is in heaven
Who art in heaven” above.
Give us this day our daily bread
“On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the choices meats and the finest of wines.” –Isaiah 25:6
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” -1 Corinthians 2:9
And forgive us our trespasses
We will no longer be ensnared by sin. Sin will be no more.
“He will remove His people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” –Isaiah 25:8b
As we forgive those who trespass against us
Same deal. And also, no one will be able to cause us pain or sorrow, because pain and sorrow will be no more.
“No longer will My people have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns.” –Ezekiel 28:24a
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21:4
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.” -2 Timothy 4:18
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
(recited by many churches at the close of the Lord’s prayer)
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” -1 Chronicles 29:11
Briefly scroll back up and notice what’s left.
Rather than be crossed out, the someday-unneeded portions of the prayer Jesus taught us should really just have a check mark next to them, since what the Lord is doing is not abolishing but fulfilling. But the point remains:
All that remains is praise! That’s how we can spend eternity praising God. Not by being boring, but by being completely and utterly fulfilled! He will have done away with all that has ailed us, and will give us, continually and eternally, every good thing our hearts have ever longed for. I believe that will include things like relationships, adventure, creative and useful pursuits, learning, etc. It won’t be dull, it will be life lived fully alive. Praise God.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10
“The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” -Psalm 126:3