Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gospel Text for Sunday, July 25th

Luke 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial.
Questions for engaging the text:
- What do I observe" What am I seeing" Does this passage raise questions for me?
- Is anything attracting me, drawing my attention, or repulsing me?
-What response is emerging within me? What is my response to what is attracting me?***
-In what ways might I specifically act on my insights in the world
I really want to hear from you. Thank you for clicking on "Comments" below and adding your responses.
Grace and Peace, Debra
*** 1st three questions taken from The Art of Engaging Holy Scripture curriculum (see resources)

1 comment:

  1. Luke 11:1-13

    I observe that it was in prayer that Jesus revealed his relationship with God - the Father. And Jesus wanted nothing less for the disciples, so he instructed them (and us) to do likewise…. “When you pray say, ‘Father, hallowed be your name.’” Be audacious. Address God directly and personally. This is how to acknowledge your relationship with God, your Father. This is how to be “Children of the living God.”

    It occurs to me that for some of us this is problematic. The word father comes drenched with not so good associations. Let me tell you the story of a middle age woman. I will call her Marcy. Although Marcy understood herself to be a faithful Christian, for years she could not follow Jesus’ instruction to “say, Father hallowed be your name…” Her relationship with her biological father was let’s just say, not good. So she would skip the beginning of Our Lord’s Prayer or silently say God, Spirit or True One instead of Father. But it never felt quite right to her. Marcy said it left her with a sharp edge and it felt as if she was cut off or some how left out… disqualified from having a full and loving relationship with God. And so she kept on praying. And like the persistent widow who would not give up asking the unjust judge to hear her case, over and over and over again – for years (I don’t remember how many) Marcy asked God to take away the awful associations she had with the word Father and to set her free to pray as Jesus instructed the disciples.

    Eventually Holy God was gracious, generous and faithful. Marcy knocked and the door was opened. She asked and she received. Marcy told me that now she can pray as Jesus instructed saying “Father hallowed be your name.” Today Marcy feels a deep and abiding relationship with God the Father, the kind of relationship she never knew with her earthly father.

    This encourages me to be persistent in my prayer, most especially when faced with great challenges. Which reminds me that that is precisely what Jesus did. At the critical moments of his life and his ministry Jesus prayed: when he had been baptized, after he cleansed the leper, before choosing the twelve disciples, after feeding the five thousand and before asking the disciples, “Who do the crowds say that I am?, ” while he was transfigured on the Mount of Olives, in the garden before he was arrested and finally while on the cross. Jesus prayed frequently, persistently and fervently. I will do likewise.