Readings for the Week of June 28
The Lord’s Prayer is central to Christian living and teaching. Living, because this prayer has followed the Church throughout all of the centuries of her existence. It is prayed every week in worship, every day in personal prayers, and is even used by people who may not have any religious commitment. For some it is just a cultural artifact but for those who pay attention, it is a source of life.
It is central to Christian teaching because each line highlights critical aspects of Jesus’ thought. Early in Matthew’s version of the prayer it says, “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. This little line not only calls upon us to celebrate God’s rule coming into the world but it reminds us that it is in Jesus himself where this rule takes place. Jesus is the Kingdom come (in human flesh), on earth (the incarnation), and through him God’s heavenly rule arrives. The Kingdom always looks like Jesus because Jesus is the place where heaven and earth meet. N.T. Wright says,
We are praying, as Jesus was praying and acting, for the redemption of the world; for the radical defeat and uprooting of evil; and for heaven and earth to be married at last, for God to be all in all.
And that is just one line. Each line is rich. Each line is beautiful.
Let me encourage you to make the Lord’s Prayer a part of your daily rhythm.If you do not pray at all, pray this prayer. Deliberately and slowly, commit these words to memory and allow them to flow from your lips as if they were your very own. Whether you pray a lot or none at all, pray this. As Luke 11 reads, “When you pray, Say: Father, hallowed be your name . . .”
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Readings for Week of June 29