Today is the day…

DAY 30 REFLECTION: Is Jesus in heaven out there or in spirit right here?

The Lord’s prayer is and has been often prayed in sanctuaries and homes throughout Christendom. There are many translations, but here’s one:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory forever, amen.

The Lord’s prayer can be interpreted dualistically or non-dualistically, and the difference between the interpretations can be spiritually significant. Dogmatic Christians are raised dualistically in the Christian faith. With the Lord’s prayer, the kingdom of God is “up there” in heaven, and we are “down here” on earth, and we need to make sure we go “up there” when we die and not end up in hell with the evil one.

Looked at non-dualistically, the Lord’s prayer can be embraced very differently. It does not need to be about separation and can beautifully connect our mind, heart, spirituality, religion, and the world itself. 

What the Lord’s prayer means non-dualistically is consistent with Jesus’ priorities of love, connection, and service:

  1. We have an obligation to help our communities: On earth as it is in heaven
  2. We need to focus on the present moment: Our daily bread
  3. Forgiveness is essential to our spiritual growth: For others and ourselves
  4. We need to train our unconscious minds: Delivering us from temptations

The Lord’s prayer encourages us first and foremost to serve (do on earth as it is in heaven). We can achieve this through being present (focusing on today), forgiving (an essential ingredient for love as the greatest commandment), and being more conscious (letting go of the mind’s egoic dysfunctions).

To put it on a T-shirt, the Lord’s prayer is to bring heaven to earth, for others and ourselves. We can do this by serving, being present, forgiving, and being more conscious. These are all important ways for Christians to create a better world and live more abundant lives, consistent with cultivating the love that Jesus said fulfilled the law.