In the sermon yesterday, our speaker said something that I found myself thinking about the rest of the day. In speaking about the part of the Lord's prayer when we say, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," she said, "We don’t live in a perfect world, BUT, we should live as though we do."
Then she offered this challenge... "Keep your ideals, even when it’s hard. Live on earth as though you were in heaven."
When you are young, you tend to be idealistic, passionate, holding deep convictions, wanting to change the world... (for example, as a new Christian, the first time I read the Sermon the Mount, I thought I had the blueprint for human life as a Christian, and I dedicated myself to living it out).
But then life happens... and you realize after getting hit with a 2 x 4 a few times, that life is difficult and often doesn't reward your ideals. (Sometimes turning the other cheek means your get hit twice).
And so, you find over time that some of your ideals go to the wayside, or are softened or just become things you no longer believe work in the real world.
And that is why I loved her challenge... the kingdom of God is a present reality, but it is also a future hope... we live in the kingdom now, and lean towards the perfect fulfillment of that kingdom some day. In other words, we live now, as if God's will is being done fully on earth, even though it is not.
We dare not give up on the "project" of the Kingdom of God. Instead, we must dig in, and find ways to live out..."love your enemy", and "do not lay up treasures" and "judge not" even in a world that does not reward such things.
Perhaps, this decision to dig in and live within God's kingdom, done now not with rose colored glasses, but with a understanding that it is not a silver bullet to fix the world, will in fact yield even better fruit than when we tried to do it in naivety.
Grace & Peace,