Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we say, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." The first half of this prayer is directed toward the Second Coming of Jesus.
The second half involves our asking our Father for his kingdom to reign right now, on earth, and his will to be done here as fully as it is done in heaven. Every Advent, these prayers take on a greater importance as the church invites us to prepare both for Christmas and for Jesus’ triumphant return to earth.
As we look forward to Christmas, we may be tempted to ask, "Is it possible? Can God’s will really reign on the earth before Jesus comes again?" In one way, God’s will certainly does reign. After all, whatever God wants or allows to happen will happen. But more to the point, Jesus gave us these words—"on earth as it is in heaven"—to pray so that we will aim to have his will done in our lives.
When the saints prayed this prayer, I believe they were living it out as well—in many ways doing God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. They enjoyed God’s peace, and they felt his love. God’s kingdom was present in them because they lived in the light of his presence. They clearly experienced heaven on earth—and so can we!
We have to believe that Jesus will never give us anything we can’t handle. When he gave us the Lord’s Prayer, he also knew that we had been given God’s power to help us do his will on earth. He knew that we had been given God’s love so that we could participate in his kingdom, even as we lived on the earth. In fact, Jesus himself was God’s instrument who made all of this possible. The true miracle of Christmas is God’s loving plan to usher in a new kingdom and draw us closer to him.
Open Your Eyes. When Jesus was born, all of heaven cried out, "Glory to God in the highest" (Luke 2:14). The angels rejoiced that "the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world" (John 1:9). In this special Advent issue of The Word Among Us, we want to remember why Jesus came among us two thousand years ago as well as what he has made possible for us. We want to ask Jesus to open our spiritual eyes so that we will see how much he loves us. We want to ask Jesus to let his love shine in us so that we will fall in love with him and love those around us a little bit more.
The greatest gift we can give to Jesus this Christmas is an open and pliable heart. God wants to do a great work in us and in our church, but this will happen only as we let him in our lives and try our best to do his will as it is done in heaven.
All of us at The Word Among Us wish you and your family a happy and blessed Christmas. May God bless you, and may his light shine upon you and your loved ones.