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Our Father…

July 29, 2013

Can you remember the first time you recited the prayer Jesus taught his disciples? For me I can not, it has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I have been nurtured by the church and this prayer has been a part of my life. In preparing this sermon, I want to share what this simple prayer has done to shape my life.

“Father, hallowed be your name,” what does this mean? Jesus was showing the disciples, then and now, that God, no matter how we might see God,  is our heavenly parent and God’s name is to be blessed by all creation. Because through God we have our being. Our Jewish brothers and sisters would not utter the name of YHWH, because  they had a reverence for the name of God… that reverence that we owe as part of the created to the Creator.

“Your kingdom come.”  Jesus is letting everyone now that the kingdom of God is breaking forth all around us. This kingdom that knows no boundaries, and has no place for status is where we are called to live. Where can we see the kingdom breaking into our lives? God’s handy work is all around us. From the sun rise to the sunset and everything in between… even in the smile of one of God’s children. The βασιλεια of God is that realm which with our mortal eyes may not always see, but in our hearts, we as believers see and feel.

Next we have the petition, “Give us our daily bread.” Even though Jesus had not instituted Communion at this point, for me, Jesus was letting us know that with this Holy meal the presence of God is there. God provides this meal/ communion for us. The Eucharist is a thanksgiving to God for all that God gives each of us every day of our lives. If we take this meal…this Holy and Sustaining meal into our bodies and let it take hold of our lives we will be changed forever.

Now here is the hard part of today’s lesson…”And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.” This is the hardest part for many of us, forgiving ourselves and forgiving others. There are so many people in the world that cannot, or will not, forgive themselves. They sometimes have a hard time forgiving others. But we as followers and disciples of Christ Jesus are called to do just that… forgive even ourselves. Jesus reminds each of us that we are called to love one another and if we truly love one another we can achieve this state of peace. I looked up the Greek word translated as sin and indebted. The Word used in both places is the same word. αμαρτια (ham-ar-tee-ah) which means is to fall short, or miss the mark. Since the work of St. Augustine, the Western Church which we are a part, αμαρτια has become a moral failure instead of a teaching moment in the life of the church. Which sounds better to you… a teachable moment when we miss the mark or a moral failure?

How has this effected the church as a whole? We have been judging each other and ourselves by the Augustine thoughts of sin. This has divided God’s people. As we prepare ourselves for Communion, let us forgive those around us for missing the mark in their dealings with us and forgive ourselves our own short-comings. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ would want that…or better yet demands that of you and me. And we our that to God also as the Creator of us all.

 

 

 

May the peace of God be upon us and breathe new life into each one of us. AMEN!!!

 

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From → jimmyahornjr

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