Category Archives: Lord’s Prayer
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September 1, 2016 by jmar198013
One of the passages Jesus drew upon when the devil tempted him was Deut. 6.16: “Don’t test the LORD your God the way you frustrated him at Massah.” This refers back to an event that happened in Exodus 17. The people came to a place where there was no water, and were afraid God had left them to die of thirst. They lost faith in God, and were about ready to kill Moses. Testing God means refusing to trust that our Father is good and generous and just, and at work in our lives and in his world. It means giving up on God and going our own way. If Jesus had succumbed to any of the devil’s temptations: turned the stones to bread; enforced his will through political means; or stunned people into submission with self-promoting miracles; if Jesus had done any of those things, he would have been testing God. Because that’s not the way God had made for him. God gave Jesus the way of suffering with people and serving them. Not the way of self-promotion and self-service. Jesus still had to go through the Exodus of death and resurrection. To lead us all through the Red Sea of his blood to set us free, and bring us to the home God has promised us.
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August 25, 2016 by jmar198013
August 18, 2016 by jmar198013
One day God’s kingdom will come in its fullness. There will be a new heavens and a new earth. Our bodies will be raised imperishable. Death and sorrow will be no more. God will wipe every tear from every eye. We will dwell with God and God with us forever in a greened city—the new Jerusalem. Ultimately, this is what we’re praying for when we ask God to, Bring in your kingdom. In the meantime, because we pray these words, we are called to live in their light. That can mean doing things like planting gardens. Cleaning up litter. Wiping away each others’ tears, even as we cry together. Bringing healing to sick and wounded bodies. We are totally only limited by our imaginations! The point is, we bring heaven’s touch to this earth, this life, right here and now. That’s our work as disciples. That’s our work as the church. That’s God’s kingdom, working.
August 13, 2016 by jmar198013
February 11, 2016 by jmar198013
Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” But in Luke 4.1-13, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. These temptations are meant to persuade Jesus to take an easier, softer way than the way of the cross. They are shortcuts that embody “ends justify the means” thinking. And they appeal to comfort, power, and security.
This story should prompt us to examine what means are willing to use, or to justify, for the ends of comfort, power, and security? What shortcuts are we willing to take in our pursuit of those things? Perhaps we should pray: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from shortcuts.”