Read Matthew 6:9-14
The Lord’s Prayer that we incorporate into so many settings, including our Sunday worship, includes the petition that we pray: “your will be done, on earth, as in heaven.” We have a treasured member who, when praying aloud during worship, is always sure to put on extra emphasis when we come to the words, “on earth.” Even now, I can hear his voice, rising above even my own, shining an important light, and making a profoundly theological claim. If you’ve worshipped with us in the past, I suspect you might too.
As he describes to any who might ask as to why he does this, God is not limited to only an ethereal domain but is active here, with us. On earth is where God’s handiwork is most obvious, it’s on earth where we terrestrial creatures will find God, and it’s on earth where we certainly need God’s help. Subsequently, the charge given to humans in the moment of creation, holds particular importance if we are to share this place with the divine presence. But how are we doing? Pondering this question opens some deep concerns for God’s partners in creation.
When our planners decided to craft a theme around the environment for a summer worship series, we knew right away that we should call it “on EARTH!” Science continues with ever-deepening revelation about the impacts humans are making on the world and it seems to be a far cry from what God had in mind at the moment of inviting us into this co-creational role. We can and must do better. With God’s help, we just might.
In the weeks ahead, starting this Sunday, we’ll be wondering together how God’s will be might be lived out on earth, keeping the full breadth of creation in mind. Each week will focus on different building blocks: air, water, land, and creatures. The final week we’ll consider our co-creational callings from a perspective beyond the heavens.
So as we prepare for this new journey, take a moment today to ask for God’s guidance to help lead the way forward. Let’s shine a light upon the mistakes we have made but look also for the best ways to use what God has granted to make the changes we must.
May God’s peace find you this day. -Pastor Peter
Let us pray…
Loving God, we thank you for the gift of life in all its diversity and beauty. Lord Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, we praise you that you came to redeem all of creation. Holy Spirit, we rejoice that you breathe in the life of the world. Grant us faith and courage to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus as caretakers of, and justice-seekers for, your beautiful and bountiful creation. For the blessing of your people, the sustaining of the earth and the glory of your name. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
(from Season of Creation – joint publication of the ELCA, ACC, ECUSA, and the ELCIA)