His kingdom coming, joy arising
When Jesus demonstrated how we should pray, He included this line: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:20). This is an important request with big implications for followers of Jesus today. Christ’s desire is that our home would resemble His home.
So what does heaven look like, and what’s our part in the Willamette Valley resembling heaven a little bit more? Revelation chapter 7 gives us one small glimpse that we would do well to pay attention to:
“Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev 7:9-10)
What a compelling and colorful picture! In heaven, everyone worships the Risen Christ. This is a dynamic and raucous celebration of saints from every place and every race. They are not floating on starchy clouds with dull harps. Rather, they are crying out with loud voices in praise of their conquering hero. Their worship is diverse and full of joy.
What if we, the Jesus-followers in the Willamette Valley, postured ourselves in the attitude of heaven? What if we purposed in our hearts to praise God more through celebration and song, across denominational and racial lines? Would there be more joy?
On Sunday night, May 21st, believers from all around Lane County and beyond will gather at Northwest Christian University to do just that. We will praise God with loud voices full of thanksgiving and celebration. While we worship with one voice in one place, we will pray in accordance with the second part of Jesus’ prayer: that the Father’s will would be done throughout our community, just like it is in heaven. And He promises to answer the prayers when they are united. (Matthew 18:19)
There is so much to be thankful for. . . The church in our region is more united than it has ever been. Pastors and leaders have been praying together regularly for more than two decades, and our congregations have been praying around the clock in our One Church-One Day initiative for the past two years. We are seeing great answers to these prayers. In fact, we celebrate God’s answers, as Community-Wide Worship will mark the beginning of three years of continuous prayer. Jesus is on the move.
Though in years past, people would site surveys about Oregon being among the least-churched areas in the country, say things like, “Eugene is a dark place,” that is a thing of the past. It’s time for us to set that picture aside. That view is old and not current with what God is doing in our midst. Of course, there is darkness, but the light is increasing. God is knitting together the hearts of His church across all lines of division. He is teaching us how to love and serve our city together as one. Little by little, His kingdom is coming, on earth as it is in heaven. Joy is rising.
Let’s celebrate that light and joy together. Join us at NCU on May 21st at 6:30 PM. Let’s worship on earth like they do in heaven.
One Hope Blogger