Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Father...

As some of you may recall, the Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6 has played an important role in my time with Him. Each segment of the prayer is intentional and purposeful for the Christian. This isn't just a Catholic tradition. When Jesus responded to the disciples' request "teach us to pray", He laid out a pattern that is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago on a dusty mountain on the outskirts of Jerusalem. I hope to spend the next few posts looking at the prayer and how it provides us with a simple outline of how we should approach God, and what really matters in all things eternal.
Today, we begin with the first two lines, mentioned first for a reason. When we come to God, whether it be in daily prayer or whether it is our first time whispering His Name, this portion indicates a "posture" or "attitude" that is important to understand. We want to acknowledge that He is Lord. He has a place of preeminance, and we willingly, humbly bow before One seated on His throne. Now this may be a precarious posture to take if we knew Him as "Dictator" or "Tyrant" but that is not who He is. We call Him Father! The very first think Jesus tells us to do, is call this incredible God, Father. What an invitation! What a priviledge! We know that typically, a father knows how to give good gifts to his children. Well, so does our heavenly Father. Sadly, many today do not (cannot) bring themselves to call Him "Father". Pride may keep them from bowing before Him. They may be convinced that they are quite capable of doing it themselves, thank-you very much. They may have a twisted idea of what a father is and does and want no part in Him. Should they leave this life not knowing, never bowing, we know that that acknowledgement will be made. "Every knee will bow, every tonque will confess".
And, in case we didn't quite "get it", He describes the name as "hallowed" or "holy". We see in numerous other scriptures, the importance of a name. It not only has meaning but can carry with it, authority. We know that "holiness" is "without sin", a love that is pure and uncorrupt, never changing, always true and constant.
So we see that we are able to come without pretense. Yes He is King, but invites us to come as a son or daughter would. What an invitation! So simple, so profound!