Summary: THe Lord's prayer... seen through the lense of the Spirit!
Concordia Lutheran Church
- Pentecost 9 July 25, 2010
Living In God’s Providence…
† IN HIS NAME, JESUS, SON AND SAVIOR †
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we grasp the invitation to place everything that burdens us into our Father in Heaven’s care, may we realize the depth, and height and breadth and width of God’s love for us, revealed in Christ Jesus! AMEN!
Intro – Do we treat God like a rich uncle
His name is William, and in most people’s minds, he is very well off, quite comfortable, even extremely rich. He lives in Massachusetts, has a summer lake-house in New Hampshire, and travels the world first-class. He owns car dealerships and restaurants and even a small chain of banks.
He’s my uncle, my mom’s brother, second born of seven or eight.
I tend not to communicate with him all that much, just a half-dozen to a dozen times in the last ten years. Perhaps its because I am afraid to be seen as a hanger-on, someone who is near because I expect the scraps from his table. And part of it is my own pride, I hate to be put into a position where I think I might “owe” someone, when they freely share something with me. It’s definitely my responsibility, as I take counsel of my own fears. I still remember the reaction, when he learned my son’s name was William, and he asked who I named him after.
Funny thing is, with two grandfathers, 2 uncles, a great uncle, 4 cousins, three mentors and a few friends named William, and my favorite television pastor/priest played by William Christopher, we named my son after…. Me.
Back to Uncle Bill, a nice guy from what I know. Ambitious and intelligent, he has accomplished much in his life. But I don’t know him, and am afraid to open up a relationship with him, less I seem…needy and dependant.
I think, as we look at the Lord’s Prayer this day, a lot of us treat God like I treat my Uncle Bill. We know the relationship is there, at least legally. But we hesitate, not understanding God’s desire for the relationship, and we are afraid to seem like we are dependant, we let our pride get in the way. Communication, which He welcomes, which He urges, which Jesus modeled and taught, and which has been handed down to us, doesn’t occur.
Is It a Matter of Doubt?
One of the challenging things about being in a relationship with another person, is the challenge of trust. To what extent will we trust the other person. How far will we trust ourselves, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to depend on others. We know all to well the pain of trusting others, of entrusting our feelings, our emotions, and even our lives. That is difficult for us to do with other people, there are many scars, many fears, and our very culture says be self-determined, self-dependent.
I am not sure I understand why, but I think a reluctance to pray comes from the same area – it is a risk, there is potential disappointment, there is probable pain. While we may never admit it, we have our doubts, and wonder is God that wise that we should trust Him without questioning Him, or is He fickle like us?