“Who Art in Heaven”

Our Father, who art in heaven.

I have sat with this phrase for an entire week. What shall I say? Four little words, and yet they carry a big message. I’ll start with background. In Jesus time, and actually up until the 15th century, most people believed that the universe was made up of three layers. There was heaven, where the one Jewish God and the pagan gods lived. There was our flat earth. Below was Hell, the home of the fallen angels and those who had sinned. Copernicus and the scientists that followed him announced that the earth was round, not flat. He showed us that our earth turned, and travelled around the sun, that there were other planets and much more in our universe.

I could right many more paragraphs on this background but I’ve decided to leave you to that research. Instead, I want to focus on what I believe. What am I saying from my heart when I pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven?”

I believe that Jesus was God with us, here on this earth. At the same time, Jesus was a human being, which means there must be more of God somewhere else, especially when the human Jesus created this prayer. The human Jesus prayed to God in heaven.

Our Bible talks about the Holy Spirit as God. In the stories found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), God’s Spirit descends on a special few people like Abraham, Moses, Mary.  Jesus said that he would send God’s Holy Spirit to be upon everyone. I believe a spark of God’s Spirit is born within each and every one of us, for we are all God’s precious creations, God’s children.

Yet as Jesus illustrated in this prayer, there is more of God in “heaven”. I believe when we die, the God within us returns to be with the complete God in “heaven”. We know little of this heaven except that it is full of light and love and creativity. I believe we will meet our loved ones in this next life. I believe these loved ones are with us here on earth in Spirit. This is all taken on faith. It is all mystery. We use the Bible recordings of what Jesus said to give us signposts for our faith.

For our scientific minds, the mystery of heaven and this next life and going to be with God is difficult. It’s so easy to ask for proof. I believe that if everything can be proved there is no need of faith. We are created with bodies that do their best to heal themselves in a world that does its best to heal itself. Still we age, get sick or destroyed, and we die. Life is a mystery.

I believe that God in heaven is wonderful, beautiful, loving, kind, forgiving, accepting, all the good things we can think of. I believe that Heaven is more than just one place. At times, when I stand mesmerized by a sky ablaze with colour, I feel for a moment that I am standing in heaven. Every morning when I hear the patter of great grandson Riley’s tiny bare feet padding down the hall, and see his dancing eyes and feel my heart bursting with love, for a moment I have a glimpse of heaven. Yes, I’m sure there is a heaven, a place where our hearts are totally joined with God.

When I pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven”, I thank Jesus that there is more to God, so much more than our little human minds could conceive, even with all our science. Thank you, Jesus, for all the tiny glimpses of God’s world.



Leave a Comment


Make sure you don't miss anything!

Past Thoughts