Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Date: Tuesday, Feb 28
Contributor: Marilyn Baldwin
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways…” — Isaiah 55:8
In Matthew today, Jesus gave us permission to pray in an informal way, as he no doubt did in communicating with the One he called “Abba,” or Father. Raised an observant Jew, he knew Scripture inside and out, and was able to understand that the rigid prayers and observances of Jewish life left few hints of what God really wanted us all to know - mainly, that God’s love for us is unlimited, and that God wants only to have that connection with each of us.
It’s interesting to think that even with Jesus’ permission-giving example of prayer, we Christians have put the Lord’s Prayer into yet another box, suggesting that these words only must be used. I think God would love to hear other versions - both quoted and off-the-cuff. We’ve also put the Trinity into a sort of container, suggesting that God could only be male, Jesus might be White, and the Spirit shows up only as a dove! God in all three Persons is beyond gender, beyond race, beyond any prayers or ideas we might have.
How does that change the way we think about God? How might it change the way we pray?
There are many versions of the Lord’s Prayer, and I like to change up the words often, so that I am not reciting from memory but really pondering the ideas.
One of my favorite versions of the Lord’s Prayer comes from the writer Parker Palmer:
Heavenly Father, heavenly Mother,
Holy and blessed is your true name.
We pray for your reign of peace to come,
We pray that your good will be done,
Let heaven and earth become one.
Give us this day the bread we need,
Give it to those who have none.
Let forgiveness flow like a river between us,
From each one to each one.
Lead us to holy innocence
Beyond the evil of our days --
Come swiftly Mother, Father, come.
For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy:
Forever your name is All in One.
3/2/2023 09:17:06 am
I love Parker Palmer's books, and was unaware of this beautiful version of the Lord's Prayer: Thank you!
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Reflections provided by members of our Faith Familly and compiled by Marion Hunner