Jul 21, 2016
This is a repost of a sermon podcast 3 years ago. One of the more popular downloads.
The Lord's Prayer is challenging in lots of ways. Two of those are in the area of forgiveness and the imagery of God the first person of the Trinity as a "Father". In my reflection on this I take a very Jesus centred view. I believe that the Lord's Prayer and all prayer is corporate. Even our private prayer addresed to God or "The Father" is prayed with Jesus. When we pray "Our Father" we are sharing in Jesus relationship with the one he called "Father" or "Dad". We should not think of "The Father" as a super version of our Fathers, but as the One who is revealed in Jesus as just, compassionate, loving, and merciful.
In the same way when we pray, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us", we are also praying with Jesus. If we are honest I don't think many of us would like to be forgiven in the way that we forgive others. We would rather a deeper more profound forgiveness. The sort of thing Jesus displayed from the cross. If we pray this prayer by ourselves it is not much comfort. If we pray this prayer with Jesus who has forgiven perfectly, then we have great hope and great comfort.
Questions for thought and discussion.
What does forgiving as we have been forgiven mean? How do you measure up?
How does the notion that we do not pray these words alone, but that we pray them with Jesus seem to you? In what ways might this make forgiveness easier or more comprehensible?
What makes the notion of calling God Father difficult for some people? What do you make of the notion that we have God as "Father" because we share in Jesus' relationship?
In what ways if any mightthis be helful for someone who struggles with the notion of God as "Father"?