By Matt Horanpew in field

          It’s good to be “teachable.”  It’s a nice compliment, usually given by a mentor or teacher–someone who has gone before us and is keenly aware that they’ll someday be leaving the world in the hands of those who come after them.  I wonder, then.  Does that mean that, if someone is open or ready to hear what a preacher is saying, they’re “preachable”?  
          Every Sunday we have an element of the service called the “Congregational Prayer.”  This is usually the last element of the section of the service called “The Gathering of the People.”  After we have greeted each other, after we have sung songs that praise God and commemorate our entrance into His presence, we stop to address God.  Our praise and worship has been our response to coming into God’s presence, and this prayer it is a time to focus our attention by acknowledging and talking to God.
            At the end of each Congregational Prayer, we all together pray the Lord’s Prayer.  It appears in the NASB in Matthew, starting in verse 9:

Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

            Once we finish that, we then move into the section of the service called the “Proclamation of the Word.”  After we finish the Lord’s Prayer, we’re essentially saying, “We are now prepared to hear from you, God.  Our hearts are ready.”  In the Lord’s Prayer we praise God, I’ll come back to the second one, we ask God to meet our needs, we ask for God’s forgiveness, we pledge to forgive others, to be people of forgiveness and reconciliation, and we ask for God’s help to resist temptation.
            Those seem pretty self-explanatory.  The second thing is the stunner.  Every week we say to God that we want His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Every week we essentially say, “God, our hearts are now focused on Your Kingdom coming on earth as it is in Heaven.”
            The kingdom of God is so radically different than this earth where we live now, that we’re setting our hearts on something pretty big.  Because in the Kingdom of God there is no child abuse.  In the Kingdom of God there are no failing schools.  In the Kingdom of God there are no lonely people.  In the Kingdom of God there are no addictions to drugs, gambling, or pornography.  In the Kingdom of God there are no eating disorders.  There are is no homelessness, no abortion, and no war.  In the Kingdom of God, African people are not being annihilated by poverty and AIDS and the interest they’re paying on unforgiven debts they owe to developed nations like Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and the United States.  In the Kingdom of God, there are no people that can’t go to the doctor because they can’t afford it.  In the Kingdom of God there is love, compassion, empathy, listening, and understanding.  In the Kingdom of God there is self-sacrifice, generosity, and hospitality.
            In the Kingdom of God, there is not coveting of our neighbor’s goods.  People don’t ask, how can I have the same stuff that my neighbor has.  Instead, people ask: How can all of what I am and all of what I have be available to all of my neighbors that might need me?  People ask: How can all of me be devoted to Jesus Christ?  
            So, each week during the Lord’s Prayer we set our hearts on seeing the Kingdom of God made real here on earth.  We can’t lie, steal, commit adultery, disobey our parents, worship false gods, or covet our neighbor’s wives or goods–we don’t have the time.  We set our hearts on being open to God and available to those who need us, whether they be your next door neighbor, or someone in Cuba, Nicaragua, or South Africa. 
          When our hearts are set there, on the Kingdom of God coming on earthpew view 1 as it is in heaven, then the answer is: absolutely… we’re preachable.  But make it fast, preacher.  God is calling us, and we’ve got things to do.

  1. ooglebloops says:

    Lovely post – I’m glad you found my photo appropriate -:>)


  2. Matt Horan says:

    Thanks! I hope we got you some traffic!


  3. ooglebloops says:

    Might have – only if they knew enough to click on it!!!! :>)


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