I was struggling with exactly what to write about on this site when a friend reminded me that I have a sermon written and preached that is all about living under Christ’s archy. I will not write the entire sermon in one blog because it will be long and tedious for all of us. I will take it a section at a time.
We have a detailed life plan for how to live under Christ’s archy provided for us in what we call The Lord’s Prayer. It is a doable way to live a full life. This prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13. While the KJV is not my favorite version of Scripture, I am aware that a great number of Christians use KJV language to pray this prayer so I am going to use KJV language here as well.
We begin with, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”
I often wonder if many of us have ever truly grasped what we are saying here…..and have the right to say! We are addressing God and not being punished for it! We are talking to God with the understanding that God not only allows humanity to speak but also listens and encourages us to speak. More than that we get to call God a parent. We can approach God with the assumption that God cares enough to listen, protect, and guide us.
I believe it is important to remember that God is different to everyone. There are people who have been deeply hurt by fathers and men so God is female. There are others for whom GOd is definitely male. There are people for whom God is both male and female or neither male not female. For some God is Comforter, for others God is Protector, and for others God is best friend. I have learned not to destroy someone’s image of God whether good or bad, correct or incorrect. God will meet each of us however we need to be met and as we grow, mature, heal, and discover God, our image of God changes with us. God is more than any one of us can label and about the time we think we have it figured out and nailed down, we will be wrong!
However we view God doesn’t change or limit the fact that we have been given the right to call on God, to speak with God, to confide in God, and to claim the promises of God. So, we say, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”
God’s location is important to our understanding of this life. When we state that God is in heaven we are claiming a belief and a promise that this life is not all there is. Whether you believe in a physical Heaven and Hell or not, the ultimate definition of Heaven is to be in the presence of God and the ultimate definition of Hell is to be separated from the presence of God – permanently. Experiencing the presence of God begins in this life. We get to see glimpses of heaven every time we deliberately place ourselves in the presence of God. This is the place where we can be transformed, offered hope, experience healing, and know that we are truly heard and loved by God.
“Hallowed is Thy name.” What is hallowed? That word doesn’t mean much to folks anymore. For that matter, we have slowly lost a sense for the holy and the sacred over time. In a world in which we are encouraged to live our lives with ourselves at the center of it (and the world) we have lost the realization that there is something bigger than us. God is holy, without the human trappings of mistakes, sin, troubles, etc. God and God alone is worthy of worship. Even if God does not sign autographs, make millions of dollars throwing a ball, or appears on the Red Carpet, God is what is hallowed and holy.
Many people believe in God, fewer people worship God, even fewer people love God, and even fewer deliberately place themselves into the presence of God in order to worship and be transformed.
Two aspects of living under Christ’s archy is to:
1. Enter into the presence of God by calling on God’s name.
2. Worship and be willing to be transformed by what is truly holy.