“Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”
– Matthew 6:10
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Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to ask for “Thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This prayer of submission is the very essence of Christmas. When the angel appeared to Mary announcing the virgin birth, Mary answered, “May it be to me as you have said.” Likewise, an angel came to Joseph in a dream reassuring him that the child Mary bore was from the Holy Spirit: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” And Joseph did what the angel commanded.
Even more exemplary than the obedience of Mary and Joseph, was the obedience of Christ Himself, who left His heavenly throne to be born in a humble manger. Fulfilling the will of God the Father, He exchanged angelic adulation for rejection by His own creation! Would Christ have come if earth were not an imperfect place?
Think about it, in Heaven God’s presence and will rein as angels worship, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” Yet on earth, sin separates us from His perfect will. Enter the Christ child! God became man and dwelt among us that through His human experience and divine anointing, we can be reunited with God, with His perfect purpose and will for our lives.
Christmas is the celebration not only of the birth of Christ, but the birth of renewed hope, of reconciliation with God, of His restored will on earth. Let the angels proclaim His righteousness, let the stars shine forth His brilliance, and let us rejoice in the Lord’s perfect grace. Christmas is the time to seek His will in every aspect of our lives and in all our relationships. Would we need to pray for His will on earth were it already done?
Imagine a world totally restored to His purposes… the gift of all human life would be held sacred. Every man, woman and child would be destined for heaven. Work would be a joy and each person would have a role perfectly suited to their interests, preferences, skills and desires of the heart. Every nation would live in peace and tranquility. Every race and ethnicity would abide in harmony and equality. Every person would be respected and respectful of others. There would be universal health, wealth, and happiness!
Can the Christmas spirit create such utopia? Only through Christ can we realize this heavenly vision. Jesus would not have given us the prayer, “thy will be done” if it were not possible! Embrace Christ and you acquire His spirit, His mind, His will as your own. When we humbly seek obedience to His will, as did Mary and Joseph so long ago, we touch heaven on earth.
Scrooge learned this truth in Dicken’s traditional Christmas Carol. Confronted with Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future, his spirit was awakened with the desire to help his fellow man, to bestow blessings on others, to share his wealth in love. The message is simple yet profound. To bring God’s will to earth is within our grasp this Christmas! Simply embrace Jesus and pray His will be done.