Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’” [Luke 11]
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“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] [Matthew 6:9-13]
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We are exploring the unfurling of a wondrous Rose, in our gardens of spirit, considering the Lord’s gift to our lives of the Lord’s Prayer. We have acknowledged that there are two iterations of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave an “amplified version” to the Multitudes in Sermon on the Mount, and a much leaner version in the Gospel of Luke to the Disciples. We have noted that “thee, thou, thy” is a more familiar form in older English, than “you, your” as we use the words today.
As we look at the Lord’s Prayer, one phrase per post, today we will consider:
“‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” [Multitude’s Version]
“And lead us not into temptation, (but deliver us from evil.)” [Disciples’ Version]
* The Parenthetic “but deliver us from evil” shown in the Disciples’ (Luke) version, appears in the King James’ Version, while most modern translations omit it right here, noting that the phrase appears there in later manuscripts of this gospel, but not the earliest. I am including it because its inclusion takes nothing from the meaning or significance of these verses, while those who are deeply attached to King James’ rendering may find their absence distracting. *
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We are drawing near to the completion of this mini-journey in time, looking at this incredible gift, this Rose the Lord granted to us, teaching us “how to pray”. As ever, I am going to make every effort NOT to interpret or comment or read into the verses beyond some very basic observations… just to shine a highlight on the Rose in YOUR hands, so that you yourself can examine, twirl, ponder, and watch it unfurl as the Lord opens it before you.
As to the quick notes here, all the verbs are in that “magic Greek super” form. These are not “commands” or even just “petitions”, but in this form that both makes a statement and an affirmation, covering a wide span of time and circumstance. One interesting thing is that the word “temptation” more refers to a “test, or trial”. I was struck by that, because of how many people I know who think (and preach) that God is doing JUST that all the time… that His commands to us, His recommendations, are PRECISELY “tests”…. lines drawn in the sand to see if we have the “will” and “obedience” to “do what we are told”. (Ask a random Sunday School teacher why God told Adam and Eve to leave the Good/Evil Fruit alone… and see how many tell you He did it “to see what they would do, whether they would obey.” You’ll be amazed.) But here is Jesus saying that to pray properly is to affirm that that is NOT what God does… that in fact He “delivers”… “rescues”… not from “evil” (as some “ethereal mist of badness”)… but the word there is “the evil ONE”… an entity of evil. Jesus doesn’t specify further, or name… but the word isn’t for a “concept”, but for an “entity”.
OK, that’s it for me messing with your Rose. But this is a good point… a good point to pause… Look at this line, look at this layer of petals on your Rose, and keep twirling it for a few moments. Let the Whole Rose speak to you. Let the Whole Rose, all the lines, spiral outwards from the center to this outer layer. When you let it build, one line first, then two lines, then start again — first, second, third lines, then start again — first, second, third, and fourth… the Rose looks different every time.
Isn’t that amazing?
One Rose! The Word doesn’t change. God doesn’t change. He didn’t “tell anything different” to the Multitudes than He did to the Disciples! He speaks the Father’s words… He tells One Truth! But.. but… that Truth can resonate so richly and differently in and with us depending on which way we look, on what we are dealing with, on how long we’ve seen Him…
This Rose NEVER fades, Gentle Reader. It never wilts, dries up, goes stagnant. This will never ever be a “Wood Rose”. This will never be pressed in the pages of The Book, to freeze in time, looking the same in a shadow box on the wall. No… this Rose grows more lovely every day, and wafts that incredible fragrance afresh every time we pick it up.
Enjoy your Rose, Gentle Reader. It cost the life, and death, and Life of God Himself to place it in your hands. How awesome is that?