Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Presbyterian Hymnal (pg. 16)
On Friday we learned that Jesus taught us to address God as “Our Father.” Today we focus on another descriptive phrase concerning God, “who art in heaven.” We often speak of God being with us and it is true that we do experience God’s presence with us. Still there is a place where God resides and that is in heaven.
Years ago when we understood our universe as consisting of three tiers there was that which lay beneath the earth’s surface, the earth, and the skies or heavens. We customarily thought of heaven as “up” and I still make that reference even though astronomers and other scientists have greatly enlarged our concept of the universe. Sometime later after having given these life instructions on the mount, forty days after His resurrection, Jesus “was carried up into heaven.”
Instead of referring to heaven as being “up there,” at least according to scientists today we might be more accurate if we thought of heaven as “out there.” It is a place totally different from the earth. From what we know found in other biblical passages, it is a place of incredible beauty. It is also a holy place that befits a holy God. For God heaven is a place of residence and for us who continue on our spiritual journey, heaven is that destination for which we are striving. For us, heaven will be where God is.
Lord of heaven and earth, heaven is a mysterious place that we as yet can only envision. Its beauty will not be just in the surroundings, but being able to gaze on what we have not seen and in seeing You face-to-face. As we wait to see You, Lord, let the chorus echo in our minds: “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.” In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.