A Plan & A Prayer for Peace, Love and Happiness

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Next Steps

A Plan & A Prayer for Peace, Love and Happiness

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9–13)

The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ answer to the question asked by every person in every culture: What is the good life? Who are the blessed? What is the pathway to happiness? Jesus burst onto the scene, was baptized, proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was available to everybody — right here, right now, and then he sat down to teach, to give a glimpse of what it looks like to live in the fuller reality of his realized Kingdom.

In very practical ways, Jesus challenges false assumptions of what will make us happy and replaces them with truth; “do you really think that striving for power or prestige are going to make you happy?” “Really?” “Don’t answer too quickly, instead consider your own experience.” “If you are happy, why are you filled with worry, strife, anger; there is a fuller happiness, a fuller meaning of what it means to live the blessed life.”

In the midst of this amazing discourse, he tells people how we should pray in light of the new Kingdom reality. His words are what we call “the Lord’s prayer.” “Pray like this, then”: Pray with an understanding that you are part of a community of people, who together have a father greater than any earthly father, a father whose motivation is complete and untarnished love. It is to this father whom we pray, a father whose name is hallowed, yet who gives us his name, a father who is King who holds all of the riches of the universe and desires that the beauty and the ethics of his Kingdom be realized right here, right now. It is this father who provides for our needs as we need them, in dependence upon him, we meet him and find provision. It is this father who forgives us and heals the brokenness in us that wants to be bound up in unforgiveness of others. It is this father who knows temptation and who protects us from moving into the ways of living that lead us into believing the lies about what the good life is, about what will actually make us happy, and will deform our soul.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9–13)

Peace, hope and love (and happiness)

Doug


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