“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

The New Glasgow

I saw a vision – it was last Thursday at eleven o’clock in the morning:

I was standing on the Necropolis, looking down over the city;
and the cold blue winter sky broke open above my head
and the Spirit of God breathed on my eyes
and my eyes were opened.

I saw Glasgow, the holy city, coming down out of heaven;
shining like a rare jewel, sparkling like ‘clear water in the eye of the sun’;
and all the sickness was gone from the city,
there were no more suburbs and schemes;
no difference between Bearsden and Drumchapel.

I saw the Clyde running with the water of life,
as bright as crystal,
as clear as glass,

         the children of Glasgow swimming in it.

And the Spirit showed me the tree of life
growing on Glasgow Green.

I looked out and there were no more homeless people,
no more women working the streets,
no more needles up the closes,
HIV and AIDS were things of the past,
there were no more racist attacks,
no more attacks on gay people,
no more rapists,
no more stabbings,
no more Protestants and Catholics,
no more IRA graffiti,
no more Orange marches,
because there was no more hate!

And I saw women walking safe at nights,
and the men were full of passion and gentleness,
none of the children were ever abused,
because the people’s sex was full of justice and joy.

I saw an old woman throw back her head
and laugh like a young girl;

and when the sky closed back, her laughter rang in my head
for days and days
and would not go away.

This is what I saw, looking over the Gallowgate,
Looking up from the city of death;

And I knew then that there would be
a day of resurrection,

And I believe that there will be
a day of resurrection.

                 © Doug Gay 1992

The above piece was written by Rev. Dr. Doug Gay from the University of Glasgow. He wrote and shared this with the hope that others would be inspired to do the same for their context – praying for and longing for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our partner, Dr. Cory Willson shared his adaptation, which inspired Professor David Schelhaas to pen his own as well. We share these in hopes that you will find your unique voice in your unique context and bless us with your prayer.

The New Grand Rapids

I saw a vision – it was last Thursday at eleven o’clock in the morning:
I was standing on Belknap Lookout, looking over the city;
and the cool azure spring sky broke open above my head
and the Spirit of God breathed on my eyes
and my eyes were opened.

I saw God’s kingdom breaking in and his will being done in the city of Grand Rapids as it is in heaven;

The city was shining like a rare jewel, sparkling like “clear water in the eye of the sun”;
   and all the sickness was gone from the city,
   there were no more abandoned apartments and secluded suburbs;

no difference between East Grand Rapids and the Baxter & Blackhills Neighborhoods.

I saw the waves of the Grand River, crashing with the water of life,
   as bright as crystal,
   as clear as glass,
   and children of Grand Rapids swimming in them.

And the Spirit showed me the tree of life,
growing in the center of Rosa Parks Circle.
I looked out and there were no more homeless people,
   no more women working the streets,
   no more needles in the alleys,
   lead poisoning and cancer were things of the past.

There were no more racist attacks,
no more gay bashings & bullying,
   no more rapists,
     no more shootings,
       no more gang graffiti, no more protests for repentance,
because there was no more hate.

And I saw women walking safe at night,
saw that the men were full of passion and gentleness,
no children were ever abused,
because the people’s cravings were full of justice and joy.

I saw an old woman throw back her head
and laugh like a young girl.
And when the sky closed back, her laughter rang in my head
for days and days,
and would not go away.

This is what I saw, looking over Grand Rapids,
looking up from the city of death.

And I knew then that there would be a day of resurrection.
   And I believe
  that there will be a day of resurrection.

(c) Cory Willson

The New Sioux Center

Early Monday morning and the air so sweet I want to swallow 

great gulps of it as I bike down the long hill on the Sandy Hollow bike path. And the Spirit of God breathes on my eyes and my eyes are opened: 

I see a groundhog sweeping off her porch next to her mound at the top of the hill. She waves as I race by. Everything around me glows: the sun in the sky, 

the green corn to my left, the soybeans on my right. 

Also on my right, an Eastern Kingbird flying west, singing her heart out 

as she lures me down the hill, away from her nest. (Old instincts die hard.) And then another song: a choir of sparrows singing “His Eye Is on the Sparrows.” 

I pass through a meadow and then . . . the sunlit, alabaster walls of the Sioux Center Hospital all aglow, surrounded by a small, colorful bandage of cars. 

People no longer get sick. These days they come to the hospital to celebrate their health. There are dance classes, poetry classes, theater productions and choirs. Sports clinics of all kinds. Nurses and doctors have become teachers and performers. 

People of every age and ethnicity hurry to and from the building 

as the shift changes; the doors open automatically 

as if to say, “All are welcome—every race, creed and color—all are welcome here.” 

Just to the east, a sleepy farmer and her husband rise for morning chores, the coffee perks and they catch each other in a quick kiss before they go out to their fields with joy. No longer worried about weeds, they plant their favorite grains– 

wheat and barley and oats and flax: They love the beauty of the flax field when ripe; they love the rigor of planting and harvesting; 

they love to give fresh grains to friends and family. 

At the packing plant south of town the workers are leaving. 

(These days the packing plants pack books and toys and clothing for children.)

The young workers are the first to leave—they rush toward the parking lot that’s all a-tangle with bikes of every imaginable variety. Two older men stop to share a story: one slaps his knee in delight at the punch line. Just down the road, 

a young mom is watering plants at the garden store while another worker picks dead leaves from geraniums that got too dry yesterday. 

At the huge dairy west of town docile Holsteins wait patiently for an elderly man to place the milking unit around their udders. He talks to them and they nod. They talk to him, he nods, and changes the music in the barn to their favorite hymn: “He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills.” 

The Pella plant parking lot north of town, workers meander nonchalantly toward their posts. They feel no pressure for they know that a thousand hours are as a day, and a day as a thousand hours. Every worker knows every other worker and the entire factory functions more like an artists’ colony than an assembly line. No-one is bored. They are a community developing beautiful, functional windows and doors and cabinets that are environmentally friendly. 

There are no banks. Former bank workers who used to charge interest, now show interest. In everything: some are interested in astronomy (that’s especially popular); some in ornithology; some in climate science; some in etymology. 

Some are simply interested in people and visit all day long. 

On and on their interests move: Further up and deeper in. 

All are interested in Jesus, the Lamb of God. They want to be in his presence. They want to hear him talk. Seven days a week they go to hear him talk. To look at him. To sing to him. 

Everyone loves to sing to him.

(c) David Schelhaas