Dear Lake B Family and Friends,
As some of you may know, we began a preaching series two weeks ago structured around the Lord’s Prayer. I’d like to share a few thoughts of mine that I preached a few weeks ago:
“The Lord’s Prayer - has been prayed by Christians for 2000 years. It is offered regularly in worship settings, wherever Christians gather, all around the world – which is a beautiful thing. The danger of this is that it can become just a habit – and I am guilty of this at times – of praying these words that BY heart and not from the heart. Frederick Buechner says, “We do well not to pray the prayer lightly.” Amen to that. Buechner goes on to say, “We can pray this prayer, in the unthinking and perfunctory way we usually do – and the whole while, disregard what we are actually saying”.
It is helpful to know this to remind ourselves that our prayers too, are not disembodied from the times that we live in…no matter how difficult. This PRAYER should NOT be disconnected from our own current-day reality – the life that we live.
This prayer may have something to teach us during the fear of a global pandemic. It may have something to teach us in the midst of a society that is fragile right now. In the midst of our fear and in the midst of a political season that is toxic, we pray that the reign of God would come. And we acknowledge further that the coming of God’s reign is not dependent on who wins or loses in November. The ways of empire are alive and well on both sides. While we are going to be asked to “choose” – over the next few weeks, I ask that as we do so, we remember to keep in mind – the ones who are already vulnerable. Let us remember the children and families, our neighbors and maybe even family members who suffer, who are disenfranchised, and those who are excluded, not just from the American dream (which is fraught with its own challenges) but those who remain furthest away from God’s vision of the fullness of life for all people.
This prayer is a communal and global prayer – prayed by people who understand that God is a communal and global God…not the property of one person or one people, one political party, one country. When you pray “our,” who is the “our” in your mind? Jesus’ own life demonstrated this image of “our” as his embrace included many that others of his time considered outsiders and those marginalized.
May we align ourselves with God’s kind of power – that Royal Power that we heard about (last week.) This kind of power and the kind of Kindom we are praying always moves toward love, and justice and transformation.
As we continue to live our lives together, I am grateful to be part of a community that is unafraid to ask for God’s Spirit and power to move in us and through us.
Grace and peace,