“May your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” [Matt 6:10]
MAY YOUR KINGDOM COME
Matthew 13 contains seven parables Jesus told to describe God’s Kingdom, all based on everyday life in the first century. The one that caught my attention this week is the parable of the yeast: Jesus said, “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.” [Matthew 13:33, GNT]
YEAST FOR THE WORLD
As Christians, we’re called to be yeast for the world: a few of us making a difference to the whole. Each year members of my church make 100+ quilts to donate to Lutheran World Relief. We start with 8×8 inch scraps of fabric, not one useful on its own. But when we stitch those scraps together and put in batting, the scraps make warm coverings. The quilts we make don’t lift people out of their difficult circumstances, but they whisper that someone cares.
Read Matthew 13. Which of the parables catches your attention? Relate it to your life.
MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE
Just before his arrest, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. “He went a little farther on, threw himself face downward on the ground, and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.” [Matthew 26:39, GNT]
At that moment we see Jesus pray the way he taught his disciples to pray. He was honest with God: he asked for what he wanted—to be spared the agony of dying by crucifixion. Then he prayed for God’s will to be done. We know how God answered Jesus’ prayer. But how do we understand that answer? Must we believe God’s will was for Jesus to suffer so horribly?
John 3:16 explains God’s answer this way: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life” [GNT] God’s will wasn’t for Jesus to suffer; God’s will was to make a way to save humanity. Jesus had to suffer the cross for God’s will to be done.
A PERSONAL EXAMPLE
Many years ago I was unhappy at work. I prayed for another job, but I also prayed for God’s will to be done. After a year of applying for other jobs without receiving a single interview, I decided God’s will must be for me to stay where I was. I was there ten more years. At the time I couldn’t understand why God left me in that difficult situation. Now as I look back, I see that God’s will wasn’t for me to be unhappy at work; God’s will was for me to stay where I was for a family member who needed my help. To stay in that town I needed the job I had.
Have you experienced a time when it seemed God’s will was for you to suffer? As you look back, can you see why God allowed your suffering?
Father God, today help us to live as it is in heaven: show us how to bring about a bit of your kingdom in our lives and give us the courage we need to follow your will—whether we understand or not