The pastel eggshells are in the garbage and candy wrappers are strewn all over the kid’s bedrooms. We went to church yesterday and the minister was hyped. The band was hyped. And the faithful were hyped. Alongside Christians all over the world, we sang about how death couldn’t hold Him down. About how He saved us all. About how He set us free. We talk about the good news and how we are supposed to go out and give it to all the world. About how Jesus is alive.
My mind can’t stay focused during this Easter service as I think of how few non-believers (and believers) I know view my faith as good news. What are we doing wrong in the world that sinners don’t flock like they did around Jesus? What are we doing wrong that it seems to be a religion for the pious and the proper instead of the lost, lonely, oppressed and hurting?
My mind continues to wander to what Jesus said just a few chapters before the story of his death and resurrection.
“Our Father in Heaven…. Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Lord’s Prayer. We all know it.
But could he really mean that? Does he really mean that he wants us as Christians to be part of praying for and longing for things to be on earth as they are in Heaven I think about my friends in Haiti with all of their suffering. I think about the political issues that seem to be dividing Christians so venomously these days. And I think about Heaven at this moment and all of the descriptions I have read in the Bible and in teachings throughout my life.
Plenty. Abundance. Community. There will be enough. For everyone.
When Jesus prayed that teaching prayer and he told us to ask that things would be done on earth as it is in Heaven, I don’t think he was telling us to hope and pray for the impossible. Could he actually mean what he said?
I have always felt caught between the secular and the spiritual with what I do and how the work of selling handmade from the poorest country in the western hemisphere doesn’t seem “religious” in nature. I can’t tell you how many times I have been rejected for not being Christian enough for churches to come alongside what we do and help us out from time to time. And yet I have known with all my heart that it is a passion and a purpose that I was created for.
My purpose is to fight against poverty.
My purpose is to draw the beauty out of things that are not always seen as beautiful. My purpose is to find redemption in all things and be a catalyst for transformation in this world. Now. Right now. For the poor who are with us right at this very moment.
As I leave the building on Easter Sunday, “Holy Week” is over. But the holiness of telling and living out the good news as it relates to a loving God’s intention for RIGHT NOW has just begun. I want to live out the good news of the kingdom of God with each creation that artisans in Haiti make because it brings people one step closer to shaking the bonds of poverty on earth as it is in Heaven and living out their lives as God intended.
The work of selling mugs and bracelets for me is holy. And I would bet your work is holy too. If we can only see with the eyes of a loving God’s heart for us right now and right here. He is here to make all things beautiful and kind and right and prosperous. I think if we started living out the truth and hope that Jesus had in bringing His heaven to earth now- we might find that we are wielding a faith that brings hope and good news to those sick of religion and longing to meet and find the God of love and grace that has up until this point, been elusive in the church to them thus far.