Part four in a series on using the Lord’s Prayer as a roadmap to mission.
I’m slowly working my way through the Lord’s Prayer as a roadmap to missional living. Do you want to catch up? Here you go:
Love that is just an idea is not love at all. Grace that is just an idea is no grace at all. Mercy that is just an idea no mercy at all. Peace that is just an idea is no peace at all.
All these things need to be embodied. Love, grace, mercy, peace all need to be lived to be something. If they are not lived and carried out in the body, then what are they? Nothing.
Mission that is carried out only in ideas, strategy, or concepts is no mission. It is nothing. It is dream and talk. A friend of mine constantly says, acta non verba. “Action, not words.”
Jesus in the prayer that he taught his disciples said,
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus was keenly aware about the necessity to embody the mission in the world. The word we translate “earth,” can be understood with a range of meanings. It can be translated as “soil” and “people” and “country.” Now, we know that Jesus didn’t speak Greek. He most likely spoke Aramaic and Hebrew. Matthew when trying to express what Jesus was saying here uses this word that can mean “earth” and all these other ideas. Why? Because Jesus was trying to tell his disciples that what he wanted was for the kingdom, his kingdom, to be lived out right here, right now.
The mission, the faith, whatever you want to call it is not a sales pitch, it’s not a media strategy, it’s not to be a marketing campaign. No, the mission is to be something lived. It is to be the living of, the embodiment of, Jesus kingdom right here in the flesh, on the dirt, and with the people.
What is this supposed to look like? I think it’s supposed to look like the poem that Jesus taught earlier in Matthew,
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Oh that we who claim to follow Jesus would live this way in our bodies.
Originally published at write.as on February 7, 2019.