If you have been tracking with me for any amount of time, you know I have been working through Father Thomas Hopko's 55 Maxims for Christian Living. The project began because it occurs to me that what non-believers or unchurched believers see in those of us who regularly attend church has a lot to do with their choice to stay away.
So I am traveling through Fr Hopko's list, looking at my life and at what I see in others.
Today we look at #4: Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is warning against grandiose prayers which attempt to draw attention to the pray-er. He gives his Disciples a simple verse to use instead.
It is truly a perfect prayer. Covers all the bases beautifully.
But when was the last time you recited it slowly, really listened to the words?
Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy name
Hallowed is an uncommon word. Jesus is telling us that the One to whom we pray is sacred and unlike any other, not to be trivialized or used for any purpose we contrive. God and our belief in Him are not tools we can use against others.
Excellent word for current times.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven
Pastor Rob spoke this morning about the Kingdom of God being a state in which God's will is carried out as it should be, in the way God plans. He went on to mention that every part of creation lives within the Kingdom of God, except human beings. Everywhere else in the Universe, every other species of plant and animal, bows to the authority of God, except humans.
Think about it.
Give us this day our daily bread
I am watching my dog sleep beside me right now. She has no concern about not eating tomorrow. Her belly is full, she is ready for bed, and thoughts about tomorrow will not ruin her sleep.
Wouldn't that be a great way to live?
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Okay, this is a tough one. What we should read in these words is "forgive me in the very same way I forgive others"...and that seems harsh. We like grudges. We cling to hurts people have put on us. We want forgiveness but don't want to forgive.
Except it doesn't work that way.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
Pretty much sums up my cry each day. Keep me out of trouble, rescue me when I wander off the trail.
Seems that Father Hopko is on to something here.
I am making a commitment to reciting this prayer at least three times every day for the rest of October.
And listening to the words as I say them, either in my head or aloud
Will you join me?
Who knows...we might start a revolution as a result!
We will talk again tomorrow...