Author: Tyler serving on staff with Kaleo in Minneapolis, MN
In chapter six of the Matthew’s gospel account, Jesus tells His disciples how they are to pray. Many people know this prayer as the Lord’s Prayer.
9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
As my summer with Kaleo kicked off and I began serving the Twin Cities, I continually came back to this prayer, and slowly it began shaping to the way I saw every part of my internship. There is just a ton of goodness in each line of this prayer that I could probably write whole book on, but, as a whole, the prayer brought one thing to forefront of my heart this summer…
The redemptive double vision of the Kingdom of God.
Let me explain. To believe in the words of the Lord’s prayer is to believe that there are two realities in this world that are seemingly competing. Jesus spent a lot of time in His life talking about this thing called the Kingdom of God. It was the Kingdom that He came to establish, that He ushered in (Matt 4:17). Jesus saw the Kingdom of God as the reality in which captives were to be set free, tears are wiped away, and life is abundant. It’s heaven. However, as Jesus (and probably you) noticed, the reality in which we live rarely looks anything like heaven.
This is why Jesus prays that the “Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as is in heaven” (v.10). He recognizes broken reality on earth, and prays that the glorious reality of the Kingdom of God would come now. He believes in both realities, and He prays for the Kingdom reality to overtake what we see now. This is the heart of the Lord’s prayer
Theologian N.T. Wright puts it this way,
“It is the prayer that the alternative vision of reality — the Kingdom — may become, not just a vision, but reality.”
So, when we look at the world as Christ followers, we see double vision. We see the depths of a reality that is broken and influenced by the “evil one.” A world in which the worst that can happen often does. A place in which the innocent are afflicted and sin runs rampantly through ravaged lives. But, at the same time, we see the coming Kingdom. A redemptive reality in which wholeness is found. A world in which needs are met and fear is vanquished. A place where the will of our loving Father is perfectly accomplished. To see the world with this sort of double vision is certainly sobering, but it also places a deep hope and an unshakable faith within you tied up in this Kingdom coming.
And this is how the Lord has been enabling me to see the Twin Cities and its people this summer with Kaleo. I’ve seen kids I’ve played with at VBS show clear signs of being abused. I regularly hear people shouting in fits of rage outside of my house. I have seen the deep shame and bitterness that homelessness can inflict upon a human soul. But, I have also watched a young girl named Divine grasp the reality that God is her perfect Father. I have seen the tears of a gay woman named Taylor understanding that God’s compassionate love reaches into her sin and confusion. I have seen a sanctuary full of high school students from Indiana spontaneously rejoicing in worship and prayer for 5 hours.
And I have seen these people, complete strangers, testify about the Lord’s work in their life and show me unexplainable kindness. Jeff (purple shirt) felt lead to share with me about what true wisdom is in the eyes of the Lord. Sofu and his friend John (peace sign) spoke of the faithfulness of God to them in their life. Daniel (tattoo sleeves) passionately shared with about God delivering Him from substance abuse. And Rose (blue lanyard) told me about the great joy she finds in God’s creation.
It is in these instances and incredible people that I have seen the Lord’s prayer come to life. In each person and situation, I see the double vision of the Kingdom. I see the hurt, but I also see the healing hope. I see the pain, but I also see the approaching promise. I see darkness, but I also see a light that I know will one day illuminate everything I see when the Kingdom fully does come.
This summer with Kaleo has shown me just how desperate the world is for believers who believe this prayer, as well as the incredible way in which it invites us to see the world. So whether your mission field is Phillips Neighborhood in South Minneapolis or wherever, believe that the world needs the Kingdom, and start seeing double vision.