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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 167

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From the Word: After this, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice, which I had heard speaking with me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you that which must happen after these things.” (Revelation 4:1)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Petition

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.

How is this done?

God’s will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.

Pulling It Together: We have seen the open door of the gospel (Rev 3:8) but here is a door opened to heaven, so that John may see into the realm of the divine and be assured that God’s will is being done on earth. The best events in our world have their cause in heaven, and are guided by the wisdom of the heavenly King. While this may be difficult to believe, it is what we confess and pray. Just so, in our Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us how our wills may come to match those of his Father. The Third Petition is not meant to muster our pitiful powers or steal our mettle, but to bolster our trust in the Almighty. In the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we do not pray that his will might be done, but for faith to believe God’s will is truly being done. This is what John is about to witness through an opened door to heaven: God’s will is indeed being done on earth as it is in heaven.

Prayer: Thy will be done, Father. Amen.

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How to be a Disciple is a six-part series of dramas featuring the first twelve disciples, each exploring a piece of the discipleship puzzle. The disciples are placed in a light-hearted contemporary setting, helping listeners to get a sense for the down-to-earth interplay between personalities. The progression of the series is meant to provide the larger picture of what discipleship means. (Two to five characters per drama.)

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