Sunday, October 20, 2013

Accepting the Will of Heaven

At the end of a rousing speech urging the defense of the temple, Judas Maccabees tells the people:
ὡς δ' ἂν ᾖ θέλημα ἐν οὐρανῷ οὕτως ποιήσει

Whatsoever be the will in heaven, so it will be done. (1 Maccabees 3:60)
This, of course, is echoed in the Lord's Prayer:
γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς.

May thy will happen, as in heaven, so also on earth. (Matthew 6:10)
The hope is that the will of heaven will happen on earth, which does not seem likely to be the case most of the time. This life is a time when terrible things happen on earth. Men do terrible things to each other. Sometimes these terrible things are feigned to be the will of heaven. I have a hard time believing that firing a single mother who has done nothing wrong, for example, and leaving her without means of support is really the will of heaven. (James 1:27 argues against such a perverse notion.) What this means is that after two thousand years the Lord's Prayer is still valid.