New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 7

Editorials ‘as in heaven . . . ’ When we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done; as in heaven, so upon the earth,” it is not meant to be rote recitation, without intent or reflection. Neither is it meant to be an impossible dream. It should represent a personal commitment, recognizing that we – as a church and as individuals – have a role in bringing the sphere of heaven more and more into the world. We have the beautiful image in the Word of “a new heaven and a new earth . . . the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” (Revelation 21:2) This is what we celebrate on the 19 th of June – both the vision and the promise of the establishment of the New Church, in heaven and on earth, and what it means in our lives. But this is not something just to witness and appreciate from the sidelines. We all have a part in making the prayer come true – as individuals and as New Church congregations. It is not easy to have an impact in a world and a culture awash in evil. But for all we battle these influences – both subtle and flagrant – we know it is not hopeless if we have the power of the Lord’s love with us. We know there will always be evil in this world because of the essential equilibrium between heaven and hell, which preserves our freedom. We know there is none of this evil in heaven, because there the love of the Lord and the neighbor rules. And we are called upon to bring that healing, loving sphere into the world as much as we can to try to make a difference. The Rev. Eric Carswell, in his 19 th of June sermon, The Descent of the Holy City, (page 192), lays out all of the gifts and opportunities we have been given by the Lord and asks what we, “as a congregation or group of people who are trying to help the establishment of the New Church” are supposed to do? We can do a lot. “We as a church congregation can help the Lord bring the light of heaven to people’s spiritual sight. We can try to foster a living understanding of what it means to live a good life.” And, “If we do our work with a desire to serve and support what is good in others, we can help the Lord bring the light of heaven to them.” A year ago in the newsletter of the Washington New Church the Rev. Michael Gladish also made the case for our personal responsibility. He noted 183