Showing posts from September, 2012

Lord's Prayer part 4

Hallowed is Your Name Your Kingdom come Your Will be done On Earth as it is in Heaven This part of the Lord's prayer makes three claims about God:  1. The holiness of God's name 2. The coming of God's realm 3. The hope God has for God's creation The Jewish culture Jesus was immersed in thought of God's name as holy.  For some Jewish people you would not even speak God's name, Yahweh.  While we might see that as being superstitious, it also reminds us that when we talk about God the conversation should have a different feeling, tone, even words than when  we are discussing the weather or the Packer's playoff chances. In fact, there is a word to describe such conversations about God called "theology".  That literally means, "God talk" or words about God.  Each time we talk about God, we are engaging in theology.  That does not need to be a stuffy as it sounds.  Theology can be joyous and filled with laughter.  We

Lord's Prayer part 3

"Who art in Heaven" The above picture captures pretty well our image of Heaven.  Some oasis in the clouds, perhaps with Pearly Gates, St. Pete with some kind of scroll or book in front of him, and maybe a line of people waiting to see where they end up.  What is heaven? In Matthew, Jesus often talks about the realm of God as being the "Kingdom of Heaven" , while Luke envisions the Kingdom of God.  Matthew might have used the word "Heaven" because for some Jewish folks to write or even speak the name of God was too sacred.  Heaven became a safe way of referring to the sacred.  Is that what Jesus was getting at with this line?  Maybe, but I'd also say there is more too. Wayne Muller in his book, Learning to Pray , writes, "When Jesus described heaven, he never spoke of a place; rather, he described a state of the heart, a way of being attentive to the sacred in ordinary things, thins we might easily overlook." Muller is building on a

Lord's Prayer Part Two

Before we rush on to the next line of the Lord's Prayer, I want to invite you to dwell with the very first word, "Our".   Usually, we see and practice prayer as individuals.  And there is wisdom in that.  Connecting with God in our own unique ways is good.  Yet, if all we ever do is practice prayer as isolated individuals on an island of one, it can get pretty lonely.  It can also get pretty self-centered.  I need the voices of others to care for me, expand me, and challenge me.   Care for me in ways that I realize that someone else in this world who I can see, receive a hug from, and respond to what I am saying can help me hear the still speaking voice of God in new and amazing way.  That is why Jesus came in the flesh...and we offer that Christ like present to each other in prayer. Expand me in ways that I realize that I don't have God all figured out.  I see in a mirror dimly as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13.  I need to realize my own limitations

The Lord's Prayer

Over the next couple of posts about prayer, I want to look at the Lord's Prayer.  Many have already commented about, preached about, written books about, and every Sunday in almost every Christian Church this prayer is part of the worship service, so I am trudging into well-known territory.  In some ways stepping into such conversation is difficult.  Do I really have anything fresh to add to the dialogue?  Or I am heaping more words upon a prayer that is relatively short and straight-forward?   My prayer is in these posts you might find something that feels like a breath of fresh air.  Maybe at the bare minimum, these posts might cause you to ponder the Lord's Prayer as you said it Sunday after Sunday to think about the words falling from your lips rather than reciting on autopilot.  I promise to join you in that and also be open as the church I serve this Sunday says this prayer in our worship service. The Lord's Prayer is found in two of the four Gospels: Ma