"Thy Kingdom Come...on earth as it is in Heaven"
Are we there yet? Mom? Dad? Are we there yet? These were my words as a child, during the drive to Grandpa’s house for the families annual fourth of July celebration. The drive was only about an hour and a half but for some reason it always felt like an eternity. I have memories of sitting in the back of that 1984 chevy cavalier station wagon and just roasting. I can remember the smell of the hot dark blue upholstery baking under the hot summer sun.
In the back seat, the crank windows were fully child proofed and would only go about half way down. It just seemed like I could not deliver myself from that hot, sweaty, and rather uncomfortable rusting blue station wagon. I probably would have been in better shape if I could at least look out the front window to see where we were or where we were going. But I could barely see out, because I was only about 4 feet tall. All I could get were hot strikes of sunlight piercing through the car at different angles.
Dad, are we there yet? That seemingly eternal hour and a half trip was not for nothing. After all we were going to Grandpas. At a certain point I knew I would be unbuckled from that hot Chevrolet seat and be released At Grandpas everything could be seen. All the family was there. There was laughing and there was playing. You could see and eat all the food laid out on the picnic tables. Brats, hot dogs, and German potato salad of course was common fare. Baked beans were always a staple. Juicy watermelon was laid out. Root beer floats and cake were soon to follow.
To cool off everyone was free to run through the water sprinkler. The afternoon breeze would cool all the company there, and singing songs would usually follow. Fireworks and sparklers were launched from the freshly mown grass always with shouts and applause.
This is one of my little encounters with paradise. And I know you all have your own…maybe very different, but your own slice of paradise pie. One thing is clear. There is always a wait before eating. There is always an uncomfortable drive on the journey there. Life, generally, is not always paradise, but more like a hot, sweaty, shackled ride in the back seat of a chevy cavalier.
Are we there yet? Hear the words of our gracious Lord in today’s Gospel reading, “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Are you there yet? Yes you are here. We asked for forgiveness and the Kingdom spoke with a resounding Yes. The Kingdom has found you. The Kingdom has come. In faith you asked, and in faith the kingdom of heavens has been opened to you. Jesus has journeyed to you. You are sprinkled in His baptism that will never dry from your forehead. And the celebration has well begun – on earth as it is in heaven. The same table that has been set in heaven has been set here on earth. And He comes not with a slice of paradise for you, but whole paradise pie. The whole paradise promise in one bite. Such is the love of God that he shares in all that is his: his righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. God lives to give to you, and clothes you as royalty in His kingdom.
In our anxious journey through this earthly life, you do not have to worry about where you are or where you are going. Let the soft and inviting words of Jesus be your comfort. It was he who has already worried about getting you to paradise. It was he who shed tears and sweat blood to get you to where you are going. And it was He with whom the Father was perfectly pleased. He has done all things well, especially for you – for the heavenly Father is perfectly pleased with you. He ran His course to bring you here to this place. And at last to bring you to that heavenly home.
Are we there yet? Absoutely, and we have things even greater yet coming in His kingdom. In the name of Jesus. Amen.