Sunday, July 25, 2010

IX Pentecost

Readings are here

Sometimes I think we say the Lord's Prayer so frequently we race over the meaning and mumble the words. Today I encourage you to read it through slowly, savoring each phrase. Or perhaps reading it in other translations/paraphrases will help see the fullness of the prayer that Jesus offers his followers:

THE ARAMAIC PRAYER OF JESUS
as translated from Aramaic by Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz of the Sufi Order of the West

O, Birther of the Cosmos, focus your light within us -- make it useful
Create your reign of unity now
Your one desire then acts with ours,
As in all light,
So in all forms,
Grant us what we need each day in bread and insight:
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
As we release the strands we hold of other's guilt.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
The power and the life to do,
The song that beautifies all,
From age to age it renews.
I affirm this with my whole being.



From A New Zealand Prayer Book

Eternal Spirit Earth-Maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all.
Loving God, in whom is heaven.
The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the earth!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.


The lesson from the Genesis reveals a God with whom we can argue and have a conversation and who listens to our concerns. The reading from Colossians tells us we can have our own opinions and do not have to take the ideas of others for ourselves. We are free to seek God on our own. Even the church can't tell us how to think and believe. Jesus asks us to seek and find, knock and doors will open.

Prayer is just this sort of seeking and knocking. Sr Joan Chittister says: "God is life, not a vending machine full of trifles to fit the whims of the human race." We may not understand or even accept life as it happens to us. Prayer is a way of finding a deeper understanding of how God is found in our lives. Seeking and knocking does not mean we will get whatever we ask for but it is seeking our relationship with God - how God is life, and finding ever new revelations (doors) about living as though heaven is real on earth and making that more of a reality.

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. ~~Augustine