“May your Kingdom come and your will be done In Flint as it is in Heaven” is the prayer that we pray (almost ad nauseam) around Central Church. If you are going to pray anything a lot, it makes sense that we should pray what Jesus taught us to pray. Here’s our belief: Jesus wouldn’t have taught us to pray it, if God had no intention of answering it.
Now the BIG the question: How in the world is God going to answer that prayer? Have you been in Flint? The streets aren’t golden; the boarded-up houses aren’t mansions; and, Mott Lake is not the Crystal Sea.
Full Disclosure #1: Jesus said, “on Earth” not “In Flint,” but wouldn’t “In Flint” be included in Jesus’ instructions? I think so…
Full Disclosure #2: I frequently admit the following in funeral services: I don’t know much about heaven. I can’t describe the Pearly Gates. I don’t know the depth of the Crystal Sea. Don’t ask me if your mansion is a split-level ranch or an English manor. Don’t know. Don’t care.
Having offered my little provisos, the Bible does give us some insight into heaven. Here’s a list (not exhaustive) of things that WILL NOT BE In heaven:
- No suffering, sickness and pain. See Revelation 20. No need for hospitals in heaven.
- No death. No obituaries. No Caskets. No funeral homes.
- No hunger: Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son”(Matthew 22:2). Not sure Jesus was equating heaven with the Golden Corral, but we all agree that hunger will not be a problem.
- No inadequate education systems: Paul wrote: Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12)
- No racism. Revelation 7 says, there will be folks from every tribe and people group.
- No housing shortages. Jesus said, “In my Father’s House are many rooms” (John 14:2)
- No prisons. No prisoners. No crime. No need for need for security guards or police.
- No cats (OK. That’s a joke. Calm down, “cat people.” Maybe there will be cats. Definitely there will be dogs).
Can we agree that there will be none of those things in heaven (except for the silly feline line)?
If God’s Kingdom were to come and His will done in Flint as it is in heaven, then those aforementioned things would be done away with in Flint too. Wouldn’t it? Maybe not the funeral homes, hospitals, and prisons. We still live in a sin stained world. But we can dream of a time when there are less people incarcerated. Less crime. Could the other societal ills mentioned above– poverty, racism, and inadequate housing, be no more too. Why not?
Before you quote Jesus saying, “the poor you will always have with you.” (John 12:8), everyone knows that Jesus was not endorsing a lack of regard for the poor. Jesus’ desire is not for the poor to stay impoverished (I mean this in the most non-prosperity gospel way, that is, I mean it in a “dignity-for-all” sort of way). His desire is for all to have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
Back to my question—how will God bring an end to earth’s troubles like crime, racism, poverty, hunger so that our city may be as it is in heaven? It’s a big question. But is it too big for God to answer? I don’t think so.
The way God answers such outrageous prayers is through outrageous people who look a lot like you and me.
- It’s you and me being the hands and feet of Jesus until He returns.
- It’s you and me participating in a new and glorious future with God Almighty.
- It’s you and me taking Jesus to our world.
It might seem crazy, but the Creator of the universe choose to use you and me to bring about His kingdom and His will in Flint (or your home town) as it is in heaven.
Let’s get to it. We’ve got a lot of work to do!