Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent III

As we move into Advent, we do many different things to help us capture the spirit of the season.  Advent Wreaths and Chrismon Trees are certainly two of the things we normally see in our sanctuaries during these days.  And, as we move deeper into the season, we will see the places we worship adorned with greenery and other decorations.  One thing we do each week which helps us focus on what we are about is praying a prayer prayed almost every Sunday of the year.  Of course, it is easy enough to figure out the prayer is known as "The Lord's Prayer."
What is there about this familiar prayer that helps us focus on Advent? As we pray the prayer, we come to the words, "...thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."  It is often true that we do not realize for what we are praying.  It is likely true with this part of the prayer for we pray it week after week and often we do so without really paying attention to the words.  The prayer is more about rote memory than something which comes from the heart.  Yet, as we pray for God's Kingdom to come on this earth even as it currently established in the heavenly place, we pray a prayer that is very much in keeping with the spirit of Advent.

We have the parables of Jesus to guide us as we seek to understand what the Kingdom of God looks like and what it would mean for it to be established firmly in our midst.  Certainly, the Kingdom completely present in our midst and in our world would be a turned upside down world.  A Word from the second chapter of Isaiah can serve as a guide for praying for this turned upside down world:  Father God, in these troubled days, we pray for Your mercy.  We pray that common sense and peace would prevail, that weapons which destroy would be turned into implements that produce, that killing one another would be replaced by caring for one another, that war would no longer be seen as an option among the nations of the world.   Come, Lord Jesus, come,... but quickly.  Amen.(Isaiah 2:4)

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