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From the Pastor's Desk

Dear Friends


Greetings in the name of Jesus!  There has always been a part of me that envies the first disciples of Jesus.  They knew exactly what he looked like and how he sounded.  They were able to watch how he lived, the way he related to others and his spiritual life.  When the Gospel writer Luke introduces Jesus teaching the Lord’s prayer, he makes a connection to what the disciples observed about Jesus.  “He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” (Luke 11:1)


While we may not share the first disciples’ experience of Jesus, we are blessed to have the stories contained in the gospels and the model of prayer He gave them.  During Lent, we will meditate together on the Lord’s prayer or as some call it the disciples’ prayer.  I thought it might be meaningful to take a deeper look at it because it is so familiar to us.  We pray it when we worship together and some of us use it daily.  There are times when we pray it without thinking about the significance of what we are praying.


The sermon series is entitled, “Lord Teach Us to Pray” and begins on Sunday, February 26th.  As you already know, the prayer opens with the phrase “Our Father who art in heaven.”  There are a few questions that immediately come to mind.  Why do we pray “our” instead of “my”?  What is the importance of calling God Father especially when there are so many other names for God in the scripture?


On March 5th we will be considering what it means to pray, “Hallowed be thy name.”  To hallow something is to sanctify or make it holy.  Since the name of God is already holy, what are we asking God to do in this part of the prayer?  What role do we play in making God’s name holy?


The third Sunday in Lent is when we will be examining the phrase, “Thy kingdom come thy will be done.”  The Kingdom of God is an important theme in the gospels.  Jesus told parables about it and proclaimed the good news of the kingdom.  When we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we are praying for God’s rule to be made known more explicitly on earth.  We pray we will operate under God’s reign.


“Give us this day our daily bread” is the focus of the fourth Sunday in Lent.   We will be thinking about the ways God enriches and sustains us daily.  This is a prayer of faith trusting that God will meet our spiritual and physical needs.


On March 26 we will discover some challenging concepts that are part of the Lord’s prayer in the sermon entitled “Sin and Evil.”  We will be looking at the phrases, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”  Jesus taught that our ability to receive forgiveness is directly tied to our willingness to forgive others.  He instructed us to pray in a way that places that principle in action.  We are also reminded that our desire to be forgiven is connected to a motivation to avoid evil. 


As you can see, the Lord’s prayer has beauty and meaning we often miss when we pray it.  My prayer for this Lent is that we may grow closer to God as we pray and reflect on the prayer Jesus taught us.



Pastor Keith

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