Monday, March 31, 2008


Recently I have been captivated by the Lord's prayer especially these verses:

"Your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. "

It would seem that the heart of the triune God is fully committed to the restoration of his good creation. That which has been usurped and mangled by sin is to be fully and completely restored. This, I believe, is one of the, if not the, major theme of the Bible. Jesus prays that God would come and establish his kingdom on earth and that his will would be done here and now as it is in heaven. (Heaven being the place where God is as opposed to some whispy cloudscape.) Where God is, there is only holiness, righteousness, humility, love, kindess, forgiveness, and on and on. It cannot be any other way for God will not and can not tolerate sin in his presence. Do you see what Jesus is saying? He wants the restorative work of God to propagate through the whole of his good creation until heaven, the place where God is, has completely overtaken the darkness and brokenness of the present. This is what we Christians are to be about. God has graciously allowed us to participate with him much like a young child is allowed to help his father in a work project. The child will not significantly contribute but it is the joy of the father to allow the son to share in his work. To long for all that is broken in this world to be fixed is to be of one heart with Jesus.

Yesterday, I blew my cool with a motorist who ignored my instructions, waved me off and wandered on to an open race course with riders coming at him at speeds up to 30mph. I chased him down and told him that what he had done was wrong and not kind. He was mad but so was I. My approach was out of indignation and not a longing for the brokenness to be fixed. My behavior contributed to the wreckage. This morning I am painfully aware of my failure.

Jesus prays that we would forgive others as God has forgiven us. This is just huge. It requires us to love as God loves. Imagine Jesus on the cross praying that God would forgive his murderers! Of course, that is what he did! As we have been forgiven so should we forgive. As I prayed today it struck me that forgiveness is a boundary marker of the people of God. It marks us out and communicates to a broken world that we are a sort of first fruit of God's healing redemptive work in his broken creation. It requires love to forgive. Love is simply the surrendering of one's rights for the sake of others not the stuff of Hollywood. Biblical love means giving up what you think you deserve and giving selflessly to others. After all, Jesus said the world would know we are his because we love one another. See, boundary marker. Identity badge. We cannot forgive if we do not love and we only love because God the Father has first loved us and given us his son as a sacrifice for us that we might be restored to full humanity. That we might be what we were intended to be. How can we not forgive?

If we are holding grudges, we must come clean, confess these as sin and, from our hearts, forgive the offender. It is the path the Master has trod before us. Can we do otherwise?

Think about it...