Posts tagged "The Lord’s Prayer"


W.H. Auden Riffs on the Lord’s Prayer in “For the Time Being”

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, The Lord's Prayer; Gieb Uns Heute Unser Taglich Brot, Das Vaterunser, 1921 (handcoloured woodcut)From the “Chorale” section, which is part of “The Summons”:

Our Father, whose creative Will
Asked Being for us all,

Confirm it that Thy Primal Love
May weave in us the freedom of
The actually deficient on
The justly actual.

Though written by Thy children with
A smudged and crooked line,
The Word is ever legible,
Thy Meaning unequivocal,
And for Thy Goodness even sin
Is valid as a sign.

Inflict Thy promises with each
Occasion of distress,
That from our incoherence we
May learn to put our trust in Thee,
And brutal fact persuade us to
Adventure, Art, and Peace.

Hector Black Forgives The Man Who Murdered His Daughter

Hector Black Forgives The Man Who Murdered His Daughter

I recently learned about Transom.org through This American Life. If you like TAL, you might enjoy listening to the Transom podcast, which produced an amazing (and relatively brief) interview with Hector Black, an elderly organic farmer, whose adopted daughter was killed by a crack-addicted burglar. Black describes this terrible incident and the ensuing relationship he developed with the perpetrator, Ivan Simpson, including publicly forgiving him. At Simpson’s trial, Black delivered a written statement. It all reminds me of the man who forgave the “Green River Killer.” Here are some highlights from the interview:

I was saying how much we loved Patricia, how…

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We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 7: For Thine Is the Kingdom, The Power and the Glory, For Ever and Ever. . . Amen.

We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 7: For Thine Is the Kingdom, The Power and the Glory, For Ever and Ever. . . Amen.

We’ve come to the end of our 7 part series on the Lord’s Prayer. Over the past few weeks we have seen how the liturgical invitation to this prayer “we are bold to say,”—one familiar to Christians all over the world—truly is a profound and radical confession of how we understand God and ourselves.

The relationship between these two—human self-awareness and confession of God—is one that has been recognized as the beating heart of Christian theology in the theologies of both Martin Luther and John Calvin (to name just a few). For the former, it was this relationship that constitutes the…

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We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 6: Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil

We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 6: Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Evil

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

Underlying all theological reflection, and at the center of all religious disputes about “god” lies one fundamental question, namely, does he/she/it to whom and about whom we are speaking actually exist? If so, then, ulitmately, like pesants arguing about the King or citizens arguing about taxes, whatever we are attempting to say is necessarily only for our benefit and not in any way determinative for its actual being. In other words, paraphrasing the late Vaclav Havel, if there is a god, then we are not it.

As we have seen, this…

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We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 5: Forgive Us Our Trespasses

We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 5: Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

A single pang of hunger will drive home the truth of our need for bread, our utter dependence on it. But when it comes to survival, our need for forgiveness (both received and given) is a bit less obvious. Certainly, I can not forgive and I can not ask for forgiveness and live. I can certainly exist and hold a grudge (I do that very well, in fact). But if what Jesus says is true and we must to lose our life in order to save it, then forgiveness…

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We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 4: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 4: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

What a transition: to go from the wonder and splendor of the preceding verses—thoughts of heaven, of God’s hallowed name, of His beautiful kingdom and perfect will, to this: what concerns us. The transition is almost abrupt, moving from things above to things below, but—and our understanding of the Gospel is of great importance—not surprising: the very things that constitute our needy state (hunger and debt) are truly met and given to us by the awesome God we’ve just spoken of.

Give us This Day Our Daily Bread

Bread is bread is bread. The Greek word typically translated and understood as “daily”,…

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We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt. 3: “Thy Kingdom Come”

We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt. 3: “Thy Kingdom Come”

Continuing in the next portion of the Lord’s Prayer, we come to the section which is probably the most debated and discussed, but least understood. For many, the coming of the Kingdom means the future destruction of the world (a prediction of Jesus’ which – for some interpreters – never happened!). Perhaps in reaction to this interpretation, today Kingdom language is predominantly thought of as a present, ethical reality, often associated with various causes of social justice or politics. It is advanced when we advocate for the poor, help the environment, or promote family values in anticipation of the…

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We Are Bold To Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 2: “Hallowed Be Your Name”

We Are Bold To Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Pt 2: “Hallowed Be Your Name”

After the initial address of “Our Father“, the Lord’s prayer then follows with 6 successive requests to God. For Jesus, prayer is foremost supplication. It is a cry to God for help. Or, we relate to God not on the basis of our strength, but out of our desperate need.

So what is meant when Jesus says that we should pray “Hallowed be your name”? Without boring you with the details, perhaps a better translation might be “may your name be sanctified”. It is a petition to God for him to sanctify his name.

God’s “name” in the Gospel of Matthew is…

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We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Part 1: “Our Father”

We Are Bold to Say… The Lord’s Prayer, Part 1: “Our Father”

The following is the first in a series of weekly posts to be published on the Lord’s Prayer. Somewhat ironically, because of the prayer’s importance in Christian worship there is always the temptation or danger that, though we prayed and we “spoke the words but never gave a thought to what they could mean” (Brand New). Stretching a total of seven weeks (an opening address and 6 petitions), the hope is to try and illuminate what can be for many a rote and vapid prayer.

The opening of the Lord’s Prayer, in its address to God as “Father” answers one of…

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