The Isaiah agenda – May your Kingdom come

Let’s start this time with prayer – in fact with a specific prayer …
in what would undoubtedly have pleased Ashley Hillsley,
let’s start with what is known as the Lord’s prayer.

Our father in heaven may your name be kept holy
May your Kingdom come;
may your will be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need
Forgive us the wrongs we have done
just as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us
And don’t let us give in to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one 

Powerful words.
For many people the words slide smoothly and easily off the tongue,
and hopefully deeply out of the soul.
But there are some phrases there that are really life changing.
Just for example, what would it mean for us if we got the food we need,
rather than the abundance we desired?
What would it mean for us if God’s forgiveness to us
was only as broad as our forgiveness to others?

But they are thoughts for another day …

For today, let’s allow the rest of the ideas to drop away
and leave us just with a couple of phrases.    2 specific requests.
May your Kingdom come;
may your will be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.

I think all prayer is dangerous.   But this one’s a doozy
May your Kingdom come.
May your movement, your will, your values,
your plans for all of creation be made a living reality.

And going back several hundred years before Jesus,
some prophet we don’t know, but whose words ended up in the book of Isaiah
talked about what that might look like.

You know how sometimes you build homes,
            but then there is a war on, and the home ends up with someone else?
That’s not the way it is with the movement of God.

You know how sometimes you plant crops,
but then because of debts and finance strains,
you need to sell them off and not have anything for yourself?
That’s not the way it is with the movement of God.

You know how sometimes children are born,
but there isn’t enough food or health care for them to grow into adults?
That’s not the way it is with the movement of God.  May your Kingdom come

You know how sometimes a mother has a baby,
but then there are policies which mean she is rushed away
and not able to spend time bonding with and caring for that baby?
That’s not the way it is with the movement of God.  May your Kingdom come

You know how sometimes when people are ageing,
and there isn’t the attention, or the respect, or the resources
to make sure that they are cared for and their wisdom is shared and received?
That’s not the way it is with the movement of God.  May your Kingdom come

You know how there is a festival of celebration called Christmas,
yet the highest suicide rate for the entire year is at that time
because people feel abandoned, or depressed, or without hope?
That’s not the way it is with the movement of God.  May your Kingdom come 

The Isaiah agenda, as writings like Isaiah 65 are sometimes called
can be some of the most uplifting and encouraging parts of scripture.

There is something about this time of year
when we hear stories of hopes and dreams and visions
that lifts our spirits and encourages us that what we see at the moment
is not the way that things have to be.

And at the same time our faith takes us to an ancient prayer,
where we call on God so that these dreams, these pictures, these stories of hope
will be a reality – on earth as it is in heaven.

I am not so arrogant to believe that it is all up to us.
God’s movement will happen, because it is woven in to the fabric of creation
and because we are indeed created in the image of God.
If we fail to be part of the movement of God, then another will rise in our place.

It is not a burden we carry, but a phenomenal opportunity.

A Catholic priest was struggling as he headed up some stairs,
so a young man walked over and helped up the flight.
The priest smiled and said – God bless you.
The man looked nervous and said – I’m a muslim
So the priest smiled back and just as quickly said “well then – Allah bless you”
That’s the way it is and will be in the movement of God.   May your kingdom come.

And it goes beyond us mere humans.
A family had two pets – a dog and  cat.
As the dog got older it started to go blind and would regularly walk into things.
The cat realised this and started to rub alongside the dog
and then walked in front of him meowing so that the dog could follow
That’s the way it is and will be in the movement of God.   May your kingdom come.

Large and small, the movement of God continues to grow. May your kingdom come

The final two illustrations are drawn from people’s sharing on givesmehope.com
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