Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer and invite God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, we are engaging in an act of imagination and visioning. Anytime we embrace a kingdom image of how we are to live in beloved community together, we are imagining a new reality.
This is a disciple’s task. We are called to see more than simply what is—not that disciples ignore the world as it is. We are not called to be “so heavenly minded that we are not earthly good!” No, we do live in the world that is. But we also hold out hope, a living, driving hope for what could be. For what is promised. We lean into the promises of God with joy and with confidence, even as we recognize how far we still must go to reach that mountaintop.
There is optimism to the disciple’s path, a destination always in mind and heart as we move through the world. These aren’t rose-colored glasses that make things look better than they are, but a certainty that the church is still a force for good in the world, that justice is still within reach as hearts and minds and behaviors are changed. And that there is a God who will bring the new reality into being in and through us and sometimes despite us. That means we work for the winning side. Just think, what could we accomplish if we were certain we wouldn’t fail? What invitations could we issue, what hope could we offer, what joy could we share if we could see the new reality God has in store for all of creation? It all begins with the ability to imagine a new reality.
Look forward to being with you in worship,
The Rev. Dr. Henrik Mann