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No Thorns at All

shekinah“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]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“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 11:2b-4]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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:

[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] [Multitude’s Version]

This phrase is unique, in that it appears only in the Multitude’s Version. Not going to make much comment on this but to ask, doesn’t this make sense to you? When you walk, day after day… 1000 days plus, alongside Jesus Himself… do you need to be taught this phrase as part of your instruction in prayer? ‘Nuff said.

Second, there are “brackets” around this phrase because it serves as a “doxology”, a statement of dogma, an affirmation common to congregate prayer. Some manuscripts include these verses, and some do not. The discussions and debate among experts on the “historicity” of these words, for me, is not a strong enough reason to omit them here. I have no doubt whatever, that Jesus intends this truth to be affirmed to those who pray. So… working under the assumption that this is the right place for these words… that Jesus truly intends the Multitudes to conclude their prayer experience with this Truth, this awareness.

Now, as we watch The Father “pull this Kingdom over”, (* for once, WITHOUT any of us in the back being in trouble *) and our vehicle pulls over into the car park, we all disembark to stretch our legs and seat ourselves at a lovely little Tea Garden. The air is calm and quiet, the service prompt and courteous, the company congenial, and the surroundings are a delight.

Each of us, silently, draw forth our Roses and just gaze at their splendor. As servers bring coffeepots, teapots, cups, saucers and spoons, they also bring along bud vases, placing one before each of us. We place our Roses there, as yet we feel no pressure to speak. We just enjoy the moment, enjoy one another’s company, sip, sniff, savor, gaze, and Adore.

A breeze seems to spring up from nowhere and everywhere at once… not disturbing, not disruptive, but fresh and powerful, lifting all the Roses up at the same moment, assembling all of them in our midst as a giant Bouquet. The Bouquet turns gently, slowly, levitated above our heads in the center of our group, and all we can do is stare in rapt awe at the Beauty of it.

We know Who is holding our flowers, our Roses… and the Bouquet begins to glow with their own inner beauty, brighter and brighter until we are amazed that we can even bear to look upon these blooms. We hear, as from within the Bouquet, and yet in our own minds and hearts…

“Thine is the Kingdom…

“Thine is the Power…

“Thine is the Glory…

“Always…

“Amen”

The Bouquet, glowing with the radiance of the sun, seems to replicate and separate, dimming once again to manageable levels, and each of us watch as a bouquet drifts down before us. All the roses of each person’s bouquet, then merge back into the singular Rose each of us held, as that Rose rests again, back in its bud vase, even more beautiful than it began.

We each realize, the Kingdom is His, not ours, and that is good. The Power is His, not ours, and that is very good. And glory… glory isn’t an attainment, or heroism, or even recognition… “Glory” is Light. Pure Light. We each realize that all that Glory is His, and He has invested it in this Rose, in Our Rose… “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”

There is nothing more to say, as we each look about and smile. Almost in unison, we simply and quietly say, “Amen”… and continue to sip our cuppas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This concludes our mini-journey tour of “The Lord’s Prayer”. Thank you for traveling with us. Please continue to enjoy your Roses.

 
 

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“Don’t TEST Us!”

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

 

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An Embrace takes Empty Hands

Broke_Chain“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 forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” [Multitude’s Version]

“And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” [Disciples’ Version]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Just a couple quick notes on this, and then examine what the Lord reveals in your own spirit with your own Rose. These two verses are truly different in the places the words differ. For one thing, that “forgive” is again one of those different “magic Greek thingy words”, that is not just a petition or command, but rather a statement of action throughout time, and in range of scope.

There are two notable differences between these two teachings. For one thing, the Multitudes version uses an actual “debt” word that implies a financial obligation. It reads something like “release us from what we owe to others, to the extent that we release others from what they owe us.” The Disciples’ version is nothing like that. First, the word “sin” there is actually “sin”, “falling short-ness”. The “debt” word is debt, yes. But rather than “to the extent that we release” (Multitude text), the Disciples’ form is more directive… “release us from our sins, because we release everyone who owes us.” The phrasing is much more stark… much more framed as “expectation”.

I suspect that this is the first really confrontive challenge any Christian faces in truly embracing Jesus. Here is an essential “requirement” of what Don Merritt has written eloquently on as the “counter-intuitive”. The internal sense of sin, guilt, or shame is one of the deepest sources of pain any of us ever know. Freedom from this pain passes through the mist of “forgiveness”. But Jesus is very clear here, that to experience the release of forgiveness, one must first execute the release of forgiving.

Contemplate your Rose. Savor its aroma. Embrace the freedom Jesus offers, realizing that to embrace Him and His love, our hands must first be empty of the burdens of others’ offenses.

Grace to thee, Gentle Reader.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

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Would you like Commentary with that?

BibleIt happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” And 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 also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”

Then He said to them, Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” [Luke 11:1-13]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday, we spoke of the Lord’s Prayer. We spoke of a Rose, a gorgeous Rose, unfolding slowly… gradually… beautifully. We are about a small, short journey of only 7 lines or so, in a process called (in some traditions) “Lectio Divina”. It does not matter whether one has ever heard the term… it is simply a “prayerful reading” process, a “reading while listening intently” for the motions and whispers of the Holy Spirit. This is intensely PERSONAL, so that “my Rose” is not “your Rose” and can never be such. Yours, as painted by the Spirit, will be lovely… every bit as lovely as mine, but its contours may be different.

Yesterday, rather than yet focusing on the Rose itself, we looked at the garden where it nestles. The garden for this wondrous Rose was, before His arrival, a terrible place. Like the nightmarish thorns, thistles, bracken hedging the Castle of Sleeping Beauty of fable… people saw themselves as “chained”, “in bondage”, claimed as His own by a dangerous and terrifying God. People had to worship in just the right way, live in just the right way, follow the Law in just the right way, or risk destruction by His wrath. The very first experience of God, a boy’s presentation to God, shed the boy’s blood and scarred him forever. This, was part of The Covenant.

This was the garden in which God’s Rose bloomed. This was the background against which the Lord Jesus, the Rose of Sharon, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords… revealed the heart of God to people God had transformed from those who “were no people”, and now “were His Chosen People”, into His children… through unfolding the Lord’s Prayer. This was the stage upon which Jesus threw Light upon our Relationship with God, as “Our Father”.

But there was a second revelation of the Lord’s Prayer. There was a Second Stage, a Second Act. Jesus blossomed a Second Rose, and it differed a bit. For this morning I would like to compare these two Roses, again not to dissect or analyze, but simply to marvel at the differences God designed into the Two Roses in my garden. Then, I will invite you to look at the ones He has for you, that you see what He lights up for you, your own mind, your own heart, your own spirit.

To the Multitudes on the Sermon Mount, Jesus said:

“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 [e]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]

But to the DISCIPLES… to those who had left everything to follow this itinerant Preacher hither and yon… to those who ate with Him, walked with Him, slept with Him, suffered heat or cold with Him, who watched His miracles, heard His teaching 24/7, listened to Him laugh or weep… and beyond all else… watched Him go apart from time to time, just to be with His Father in prayer…

THEY, after watching Him go apart to pray, upon His return… asked Him to teach THEM to pray that way. John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray. Our parents, our Sunday School teachers, our priests, pastors, and ministers teach us how to pray. I myself, spend my career and life, in a very real sense… “teaching prayer” to those I serve. So, imagine if you will, what it would be like… what would it FEEL like, to be in private, in seclusion, just those of you really surrendered and dedicated to Jesus… “just us’ns” so to speak… and as Jesus Himself, just having returned from prayer as the Son of Holy God… to ask HIM to teach us to pray.

How surprising was it? How… disappointing, maybe? What would be going through our little “dedicated, sanctified, surrendered… we are special” disciple minds, for Jesus simply to answer:

“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 11:2-4]

WHAT??!! But that’s the SAME THING isn’t it? Isn’t that the same teaching Jesus gave the MASSES at Sermon on the Mount? If we were the disciples, wouldn’t we be surprised? Shocked? Perhaps a bit “put out”? Wouldn’t we be muttering amongst ourselves, “here we are… roughing it out here wandering village to town, crossing the sea in a fishing boat, healing the sick, casting out demons, preachers OURSELVES?? And there, after coming down the hillside from communing with the GREAT I AM, Yahweh HIMSELF, Jesus only tells us the same thing He said to those mere… PEOPLE??!!” (And if you don’t think the disciples struggled with these issues of pride and special favor amongst themselves, you’ve missed a lot of the narrative of the Gospels, lol.) I don’t know if these thoughts would cross YOUR mind, Gentle Reader… but I myself struggle enough with pride and arrogance, that I’m honest enough to say that they may cross mine.

But if they did, I would be wrong, deeply wrong. The prayers are NOT the same, but they have a subtle difference. The difference is completely understandable, through the difference of their contexts, their stage settings. Jesus DID respond to the “status difference” in these two sets of instructions. But the difference is not one that appeals to pride, but rather to discipline and maturity.

We will look at the “lines of the prayer” as this little mini-journey moves forward, but for right now I just want to point towards the simple, and subtle differences between these instructions.

The Lord’s Prayer, as taught in Sermon on the Mount, includes “commentary”. It includes words that condition, describe, expand upon, or amplify, the main action of each line. If you take a few moments in your next Bible Study time, and just write out the Sermon on the Mount version… and then on the right hand side of the paper, write out the Disciples’ version… you will see that the “differing words” or the “extra words” in the Sermon on the Mount, are all “clarification”.

I could go on now, in some detail line by line… but I do not have unction to do so. You, Gentle Reader, are a capable Bible scholar. You are led of the Spirit. You are engaged in the express enterprise of deepening your walk and experience of “hearing”, “sensing the leadership of”, or “being taught by” the Holy Spirit Himself. You may be the pastor of, or a teacher in, a church of your own. You most definitely are in love with Jesus, and listening to Him with the ears of your heart. I know this, or you would not be here.

So, I leave this with you now, Gentle Reader. I simply note, Jesus has to add “amplification” and “explanatory notes” to His instructions on how to pray, for those who do NOT walk with Him consistently. For those who DO so, He does not consider that “padding” necessary. Like any great Teacher, Master, His expectations of the Disciples are higher than for the Multitudes. They are expected to know, and understand, what is “left out” in the Luke instructions…

Why does He expect them to know what He does not say? Because He is RIGHT THERE with them, walking with them, sweating with them… SHOWING THEM the truth of the words He leaves out.

His question to me… and you can see if it speaks to you… but His question to me on all this, was, “Little Monk? Which is YOUR prayer today? The one for the Multitudes? Or the one for My Friends?” And, do I WALK the truth, the reality, He reveals here?

We’ll look more at these Roses… I promise. Grace to thee, Gentle Reader!

 

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Whose What???!!!

5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘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.’]

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” [Matthew 6]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We all recognize these words, Gentle Reader, don’t we? These are Jesus’ teaching from the middle of Sermon on the Mount, when, at the beginning of His public ministry, Our Lord was in the process of detonating what must have seemed like a Theological Nuclear Device in the middle of a multitude of listeners.

I invite you to take just a moment and leave our Christian lives, knowledge, background… and imagine yourself THERE instead. I mean, the whole Sermon on the Mount is almost inconceivable from that view. It is so easy for us to take it all for granted. We’ve “heard this all our lives” so to speak. But not THEM! Not THERE! The “God they knew”… was nothing LIKE the “God we know”!

THEY knew the terrifying, deadly God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They knew the destructive God of Exodus. They knew the bloodthirsty God of Aaron and Abraham. They knew the Destroyer God of Sodom and Gomorrah. They knew the vindictive God of Ezekiel and Elijah. They had HEARD of a tender, compassionate God… from David… sometimes. The PREDICTED Messiah, from Isaiah. But the God they KNEW was the legalistic, retributive God of the Babylonian captivity… and now, the Roman captivity of God’s Own City itself!

God spoke through Prophets… but that often did not go well. God spoke through the Law… but that assuredly was not going well. God spoke through Temple Worship, and Study of the Torah. By keeping the Law, performing the right acts of religious obedience (tithing, sabbath, worship)… one could MOLLIFY this Dangerous God, and preserve oneself from doom, curse, and destruction.

So we… were we there… would be waiting… fearfully hoping… for the Promise to be Fulfilled… for the long awaited Messiah… the Savior promised by Isaiah… to come! We are the People of God! God’s Chosen People! And we pray, sacrifice, live according to over 600 laws in obedience to Holy God? And WHY DO WE DO THIS??? Because we have learned, both through the scriptures that are read to us endlessly… through the history of our people… through the preaching of our religious leaders… that if we DON’T… we are REBELLIOUS… and GOD is likely to DESTROY US!!! … AGAIN!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As Jesus took me this morning, to the hillside where He revealed the Truth in Sermon on the Mount, for the very first time, ever… He showed me all this. He let my heart and my mind be freed of my 20th/21st century knowledge of God. I could “see” as a listener that day could see, with only the Law, the Prophets, and the history to guide my relationship with God… and He let me “hear with their ears” that day.

As I seemed to stand there, on that hillside… I realized, given all this, how desperately I yearned for the coming of that Promised Messiah. I felt how deeply I hoped for the Promised Savior of Isaiah. I needed His rescue! I needed His compassion! I needed His authority and protection! But… in my heart… I needed Him to save and protect me NOT from the Romans, or the Babylonians, or the Philistines, or the Assyrians, or the Egyptians…. Not at all. Like the people who cowered in terror when Moses and God let the people hear God’s voice on Mt. Sinai so long ago… I felt I needed the Messiah’s protection, from GOD HIMSELF!

I invite you there, Gentle Reader. I invite you onto that hillside with me. I invite you to forget… for just this one fleeting moment… everything you now KNOW about God and grace. Imagine that you are one of God’s Chosen People, bound with Him in the Covenant of Abraham… inescapable, unattainable, unfulfillable… and, as Paul said, “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31] And, we LIVE in those hands. We eat, sleep, BREATHE in those hands. We cannot ESCAPE those hands! I truly cannot imagine, for more than the briefest of moments, what it would be like to live in such fear.

NOW, Gentle Reader! Now, if we’ve managed to catch even the barest glimpse of what such a heart would be… NOW let Jesus enter the scene. Now, look again, with fresh new eyes and ears, on the Sermon on the Mount!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Beyond all else… imagine what it would be like to hear Jesus, after seeing sufficient signs and wonders to KNOW that He speaks with the authority and blessing of Almighty God… imagine what it would mean to hear Him say:

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘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]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the next few posts, we’re going to look at the Lord’s Prayer. Over the past six weeks or so, God has been unfolding it before me slowly, carefully, gradually… like watching a Rose unfurl petal by petal. I would like to share that little journey with you… not to “teach” it…. not to imply that we should “dissect this rose”, and “analyze it”, or “squeeze all its juices out” to distill for some compound or perfume. None of that. Any of that, and the Rose is destroyed.

No, Gentle Reader. And I don’t even want to measure, weigh, or photograph this Rose. I don’t want to try to “communicate” this Rose… in my way… as my experience… to you so that you have the SAME experience. But rather I want to “show you a Rose” as it has bloomed and taken my breath away, in MY garden, MY backyard… in hopes that you will pull on a sweater and go out into YOUR garden, and see if the Lord has planted such a rose there for you.

Together, let us “listen to our Roses”. Let that Rose raise its voice to God in praise. Let us still ourselves to hear the song it sings. Let us enjoy that hymn of worship and praise, and see if, in the listening, we are changed. Harmony, somehow, seems always to change us.

Grace to thee, Gentle Reader! I believe there’s a Rose singing to you and Him somewhere…

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Quiet Time, Sermon Seeds, Uncategorized

 

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