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“Don’t TEST Us!”

31 Jan

Immersion“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 also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’” [Luke 11]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“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]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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. *

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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?

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to ““Don’t TEST Us!”

  1. paulfg

    January 31, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Dear LM, another road trip. Three things you have released.

    That this prayer is more than “pray like this”. My rose has a covenant. “I will. Lord, You have promised. So do I” Never saw that before.
    A second is another’s words. That as the earth rotates, in each of the 24 hours, this prayer is being said somewhere. Right now. It always refreshes a connection/togetherness when I think. When I say these words, I am part of something too big and so beautiful. I had forgotten that.
    And finally, I wonder if the disciples prayer is this. “So the ‘every one’s prayer’ isn’t good enough for you? OK here is a cut back version, words don’t run together so well, doesn’t flow too good – but if you want your own prayer … There you are”

    Thank you. Road trip and roses. My rose. Different to yours. That’s a gift.

    PS the finger painting was a bonus!!

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  2. Little Monk

    January 31, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    🙂 There will be one more installment. As we stop… for coffee (or tea) at the end of the trip. But I love your words. You always show me something new I’d not seen. Never realized the truth that every moment, someone, somewhere, is praying this way… O… My…. Communion… One… Amazing.

    You’ll never know the joy your words bring me (every day). Finger painting on rose petals! Grace — LM

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  3. Julie Harris

    February 1, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    I love the rose analogy! Great post!

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    • Little Monk

      February 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Thank you, Julie. It always seems like when God teaches, it is this “gradual unfolding” thing in my heart, mind, spirit. Really reminds me of watching a garden move through spring. Glad you’re with us! 🙂 Grace — LM

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  4. Messenger At The Crossroads

    February 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Your thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer have been well received. I see it as a “form” that is awesome when used contemplatively – savoring each petition as a fragrance from the Rose as you call it.

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    • Little Monk

      February 1, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Thank you, you are very kind. It really changes things for me when I take the “braces off” things people have tried to teach me About God… and just let God flow like wind, water, fluidly… as Jesus kept trying to explain to folks like Nicodemus, or woman at the well… or…. me. The most amazing thing about this I ever realized, was that every single prayer I have ever prayed… every thought I’ve ever raised to God… is some iteration of one of these lines. Whether asking, petitioning, affirming, thanking… any of it. Jesus… was really… Smart! Grace to thee — LM

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      • vwoods1212

        February 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        SO true in all forms. We use the prayers taught by Jesus unconsciously and by rote.

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  5. insideheathershead

    February 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    I LOVE this, LM. His Word blossoms and thrives in each of us. I go through seasons of dormancy, when all the nourishment feeds the roots. But it’s so that when His Word blooms in me, it is with vibrancy and aromatic splendor. He speaks, as you say, “One Truth.” Oh that we could be but a single rose in the bouquet of His Truth. Thanks, LM, for this beautiful reminder.

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    • Little Monk

      February 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Thank you, Heather. Day by day the image of God’s teaching us has become more “Rose – like” in me. The beauty, fragrance and grace… the gradual unfolding and unfurling at HIS pace, not ours… yes, very rose like. Glad you enjoyed this post.

      Grace — LM

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