“Our Father who art in heaven, thy kingdom come, thy 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 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

A wise reader of a column which I wrote about the Kingdom of God pointed out that the Kingdom of God is a monarchy ruled over by God as king. The question arises, “Do we really want to live in a monarchy where the King mandates everything?” I wonder because so many people are rebelling against mandates that they get vaccinated against the coronavirus or be required to wear masks in public. I have no problem with those mandates, because they a simply requiring me to do what is best for my health and the health of others. And I will have no problem living in the Kingdom of God where God will require that I love him and everyone unconditionally like God does. I have no problem with that mandate because I know that is what is best for God and me and everyone in heaven. So in the Lord’s Prayer when I pray “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,”; I really mean it, because I know that unconditional love for everyone will be best for us on earth, just as it is best for us in heaven. That is why I write about what I call Godlike love so much. Godlike love is not romantic love. Godlike love is loving like God, and it means that you care about everyone and will treat everyone well no matter how they treat or feel about you. That is what our Father who is in heaven does, for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”(Matthew 5:45)

But I wonder how long it will take for people to realize that getting vaccinated against the coronavirus or wearing masks is what is best for them now. Over 700,000 thousand people have died from the coronavirus in this country. Many died before there was a coronavirus vaccine available. But those vaccines are now readily available; yet 90 percent of those dying now are unvaccinated. How many more unnecessary deaths do we have to suffer before people wake up to the reality that getting vaccinated is what is best for them, whether mandated or not?

But this column was also inspired by someone telling me that that we should not forgive everyone. So if he prays the Lord’s Prayer, he is asking God to not forgive all his sins when he prays, “Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.” Fortunately, I think God will follow his own will, rather than the request of that person who will not forgive everyone. It is an example of thinking our will is God’s will and thus getting it very wrong. How often we assume our will is God’s will and get it wrong, and thus do not do what God knows is best for us, whether it is getting vaccinated or forgiving others. Forgiving really helps us more than the other person, who may not even care if you forgive them. So forgiving frees you as much or more than it does the other person. So listen to what the Lord’s Prayer says is best.

The Rev. Walter Williams has been serving the Lord since he graduated from seminary in 1966. He currently resides in McAlisterville. To comment on his column, send a letter to Standard Journal, 21 N. Arch St., Milton, Pa. 17847 or e-mail newsroom@standard-journal.com.

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