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The Lord's Prayer [Refracted]

During our series on the Lord's Prayer we have focused on the heart of Jesus for our church and this world. When light passes through a prism it bends shining different patterns and colors. This meditation is simply the Lord's Prayer through one prism, expanding upon the words of Jesus, illuminating some of their implications. You may find that writing your own version of this prayer is a good spiritual practice from time to time as you seek to hear these words anew in all their startling and revolutionary glory.

Dear father, the one who delights in and made both me and my neighbors, would your name be so familiar that we call out to you effortlessly in joy and in need; and yet so weighty, so full of beauty, truth, and sacred otherness that it takes our breath away.

God you reign, over all the cosmos and yet you are near, constructing cathedrals out of broken stones, making dead bones live and sing. The politicians have their slogans peddling a better day with all the same promises that seem to only benefit the already rich and powerful. Would your way of governing, the way that comes through self-giving, suffering love be revealed right here in our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our cities—even our churches. Would we see that the longing in our hearts for eternity, for glory, to be known is not some cosmic mirage, a tantalizing oasis that disappears the moment we draw close, but is a fountain in the deserts inviting all to drink, right here and right now.

O Lord, we need you just to get through the day. We have so many needs, so many fears, so many anxieties and those are just the one’s we know for ourselves. What about our neighbors? What about the children, those precious little one’s who do not know where their next meal is coming from? God we need you. We need you to provide for us, we need something that we can taste, something that fills our bellies and and makes its way to our souls.

Could we see that you have introduced a new way, an escape route, from the absurd cycle of reciprocity and escalation. You are our father, you sing over us, you have a way forward for us that is freedom and fullness but you don’t keep the receipts from those moments in the past when we veered from that path. You welcome us back to your table. And you help us to do the same to others. We are so cruel to each other, we strike for blood, we love when people get what’s coming to them. We keep our accounts of the way others have injured us and yet you are inviting us to tear them to pieces, to cast them to same wind that sweeps our own shame away.

God there are shadow days coming, days that would sell us the lie that there are ways that are less burdensome than your own and words of life elsewhere than in your hands. Would you light the path before us and help us to steady our trembling feet as we walk through the darkest valleys. And god be our refuge, from wars within and wars without. Save us when we desire lesser gods, protect us from forces that would seek to harm us. Rescue us every day, our loving, strong, and beautiful father. Amen.

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