Friday, June 1, 2012

Our Father [Mother]

When I walk for exercise, I often go by myself. Depending upon the weather and my committments, the time of day varies, but I often take the same route. During part of the walk, I usually pray the Lord's Prayer.
“When you pray,” returned Jesus, “you should say,
‘Father, may your name be honoured
—may your kingdom come!
Give us each day the bread we need,
and forgive us our sins,
for we forgive anyone who owes anything to us;
and keep us clear of temptation.’”
- Luke 11:2-10, J.B. Phillips New Testament

It has occurred to me lately how fortunate we are that Jesus gave us this prayer, and that he started it with the words, "Our Father." What a privilege, that we are invited - we are actually taught by His firstborn son - to approach God on such intimate terms. (If you have father-issues, perhaps you would prefer "our Mother").
"Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult." - Ps 96:10, 11-12, 13

God is King, and He is our Father [Mother] - yours and mine. We have been created, called into being, (some like to say, "adopted") by the King. We are all part of a royal family, by the loving grace of God. With all of the celebrations surrounding the anniversary of the Queen of England's reign this year, it is a privilege to consider that you, I, and everyone we meet are also daughters and sons of the King.

This doesn't mean that we won't have difficulties, but it does imply that we can't be stripped of our heritage - an awareness which can help us, especially during hard times. The disciple Peter puts it this way:

"Beloved: The end of all things is at hand.
Therefore be serious and sober-minded so that you will be able to pray.
Above all, let your love for one another be intense,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another
as good stewards of God's varied grace.
Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God;
whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies,
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

"Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you.But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly." - 1 Pt 4:7-13

Pray. Love. Serve. Hospitality. Glory to God. Sufferings. Glory to God.
I love simple instructions - in fact, the simpler, the better.

"He brings everything to completion, and fills all things, in general and in particular, completely and essentially with himself. He is more intimately and more really present to everything by his being than each thing is to itself, for in him all things are united together, and live in him eternally." On Cleaving to God by St. Albert the Great

What does He offer us? Completion. Fulfillment. Intimacy. Presence. Union. Home. Eternal Life.

One of the most moving and transformational displays which I've ever witnessed of what this way of life can bring in the way of fellowship, openness, community, praise, surrender, love and acceptance was during the Living Proof LIVE event in Kansas City in April. I've written about it here. Now, there is a brief video online which will show you a tiny slice of the energy of love and prayer that was in that place. Here it is (look closely and you'll see Maribeth on stage).

Up here in the North, this kind of display (nearly 10,000 people praying together) is not common - but it is a blessing. We are all children of the King. Thanks be to God!


Leslie Krom said...

Karen, this an absolute blessing to me today, and every day. Thank you for posting this on this particular day. xoxoxo.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Karen, this is a beautiful post. I especially love the is powerful; moving.
Have a wonderful day!