Millions recite The Lord’s Prayer every week. Entire congregations say it in unison. Little children quote the words along with crusty old men. Cool teenagers, corporate executives and little dainty old ladies blend their voices together….

“Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Matthew 6:10

But beyond the walls of churches there is a world torn apart by dark hearts. A world where corporate greed knows no limits. Where selfishness drives people to commit extreme acts.  While people indulge themselves in every kind of luxury, others live in dire poverty and die from hunger.  Every form of abuse is played out behind the curtain of civility.  How does this picture fit with the often recited prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?”What on earth is going on? Surely this must not be the way it is in Heaven!

Many years ago beneath the starry skies of Bethlehem a miracle took place – a virgin gave birth to a son.  It was no ordinary birth.  Shepherds nearby were startled by the angelic appearance announcing the birth of the Saviour.

You shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:10-12)

The amazing story of the Infinite God stepping into a finite body to live with us for 33 years is cherished by Christians all over the world. He walked to the beat of a distant drummer. He kept step with Heaven’s beat.  He mended broken homes. He fed the hungry. He gave sight to the blind. He touched the untouchables of society. He showed kindness to the outcasts and spoke words of comfort to aching hearts. He left behind Him nothing but a trail of blessing. In stead of pride and greed, He displayed humility and generosity. He showed no favoritism because all were His favorites. He silenced the wind and calmed the waves. He brought peace to the stormy lives of troubled people.

For once, yes, for once we saw heaven on earth.

How do you explain the nailing of this wonderful Person to a cross? He hung naked in shame in excruciating pain.  His back was a mass of bleeding flesh from the brutal whipping. His beard was torn off. His face was stained with spittle and covered with bruises. A specially made crown of thorns was beaten into his head for laughs.

Who committed this atrocious crime? Could human hearts like mine and yours be guilty of such brutality and murder? Yes, humans just like you and me.

Thinking about the prayer that millions continue to recite, isn’t it ironic that when God’s will was actually done on earth the way it is done in Heaven, it was too much for us.  The bright light of heaven exposed our dark hearts of sin. Thirty three and a half years was all we could take! We did it.

The good news of Christmas is –  despite our crime, God did not abandon us. In fact, He used the death of His Son to swing open to sinners the gates of Heaven. The precious blood that flowed from the wounds we inflicted became the cleansing agent for our sins.

The Bible tells us: “Christ died for our sins.”  1 Corinthians 15:3.

 And “the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”  1John 1:7

As you celebrate His birth, will you consider and personally accept and appreciate the only reason He came to Earth?  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1Timothy 1:15

May you and yours enjoy a Christ-focused Christmas.

Warmly in Christ

Peter Ramsay