What does “Thy will be done” mean?
Regular columnist John Myhill takes a closer look at our common plea to God, to see how relevant it is to modern society.
“Not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42)
“Love, honour and obey”: so, we the people hope to relate to our God (Ephesians 5:21-33). Only a foolish spouse marries with the object of changing the partner into a useful or comfortable object. In the happy marriage, each loves the other for what they are, although sometimes that goodness may be hidden within them.
The Norfolk countryside used to contain scattered farm worker’s cottages, but most have now been bought by people who want to convert them into large country mansions (Matthew 7:24). In contrast, Dragon Hall on King Street was converted into multi-occupancy flats (Luke 11:24 - The house (mind) swept clean is open to more evil spirits) before being restored to its original grandeur.
In the same way, we have seen many British businesses taken over by larger corporations, stripped of their assets and then left floundering or bankrupt (Luke 16:8 “The children of this world are wiser than the children of Light”). Does anyone take on these businesses and restore them to their original values? I suppose the government tried to do that with some banks!
It should not surprise us when people join a church hoping to make it fit their opinions. The Church follows eternal Truths, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The world follows fashion, prohibiting today what used to be allowed and accepting today what used to be condemned. Any church which attempts to keep up with the latest trends will soon become overwhelmed by those worldly values and forget “to give unto God what is God’s” (Mark 12:17).
The Fool in Shakespeare’s “King Lear” stays with the King through his madness. He is the only person able to speak Truth to Power. He is highly intelligent and very loyal. Matthew 5:22 says that whoever calls his brother a fool is worthy of hell fire, presumably because your brother contains the Holy Spirit and you would thus be dismissing the Holy Spirit from yourself. “For the wisdom of this world is counted as foolishness with God” (1 Corinthinaians 3:19)
Sunday in Norwich - the stone has been overturned (I refer to the stone on Hay Hill with the title of Sir Thomas Browne’s book: “Vulgar Errors” inscribed upon it). Sunday in Norwich - the grave cloths are left abandoned, as the homeless man has risen into his wheel chair.
Are we ready to return to the wisdom of God? To restore our Church to the teachings of Christ, away from the convenience of current consumerism? To base our working lives on the ethical teachings of the Bible, not cheapness, marketing, cheating and spin? To restore our homes and our minds, to the function for which they were built: to house the Holy Spirit.
John Myhill is a Norwich Quaker, retired magistrate and author. His blog is at http://johnmyhill.wordpress.com/
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