March 23, 2013
READ: Ephesians 1:9-11
At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth (v.10).
In the “Lord’s prayer,” Jesus encouraged His followers to
pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be
done “on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Unsurprisingly the four Gospels are loaded with stories of heaven and earth coming together in and around Jesus.
Right from the start, heaven and earth converged in Christ’s divine conception (Luke 1:35). They overlapped when angels appeared to Mary and Joseph to explain her inexplicable pregnancy (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35). It happened again as God sent angels from heaven to announce Jesus’ birth (2:8-15).
Heaven and earth continued to join together at Jesus’ baptism, when a voice from heaven boomed, “You are my dearly loved Son” (Mark 1:11). God’s world and our world intersected every time Jesus forgave sins and healed diseases (2:1-12). It happened when water was turned into wine (John 2:1-11), when grace replaced condemnation (8:1-11), when the dead were raised to life (11:38-44), when stormy seas were calmed (Mark 4:35-41), when thousands of hungry people were fed with a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread (6:30-44) and when frustrated fishermen were twice guided to the catch of a lifetime (Luke 5:1-7; John 21:1-6).
For those who have eyes to see, something radically new happened in and through Jesus’ coming. He was announcing that people from all backgrounds are included and every dimension of creation is touched when God’s long awaited kingdom comes “on earth as it is in heaven”.
This is what Jesus ignited in His birth and ministry, established through His death and resurrection, and will one day complete when He returns. This is the creation-renewing mission He taught us to pray for and saved us to be a part of today and forever—“on earth as it is in heaven”. —Jeff Olson
Paul reminded the Ephesians that it had been God’s plan all along to unite (not separate) heaven and earth under Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
What will you do today “on earth as it is in heaven”? How does Jesus’ example inspire you?