February-March, 2023

I came across this contemporary version of the “Lord’s Prayer” which depicts what I was saying in my February 19th sermon:  

“Lord’s Prayer” Maori-Polynesia from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer: 

Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand © August 5,1997 Harper Collins   On-line FREE version https://anglicanprayerbook.nz/    

    Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,  

    Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all,  

    Loving God, in whom is heaven:  

   The hallowing of Your name echo through the universe!  

    The way of Your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!  

    Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!  

   Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. 

    With the bread we need for today, feed us.  

    In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.  

    In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.  

    From trials too great to endure, spare us.  

    From the grip of all that is evil, free us.  

    For You reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen. 

  

What I love about this version of the “Lord’s Prayer” is how it begins with a list of names, or attributes, we might use to address God.  It names the depth of God’s relationship with us, intimate and varied.  Notice, the authors/interpreters retains the term Father while including Mother in the same breath – Father and Mother of us all.  It lifts up many of the ways God is at work in the world and our own lives.   

We do that with important people in our own lives.  We are called by our names and shortened names and nicknames {Michelle/Chellie/Mitchell Bomber: my father’s early nickname for me}.  We speak of people’s roles and titles {Mr, Mrs, Ms / Mom, Dad / parent, sibling…Teacher / Employer, Boss/ Co-worker / Partner…}.  We use intimate names and terms of endearment {sweetie, dear, my love,..}.  What intimate names or terms of endearment do you use for the people closest to you?  Those endearing words reveal the depth of intimacy of those relationships.  In fact, counselors suggest when those intimate names stop being used in a relationship it is a sign that there is a hurt or unresolved issue – the relationship needs renewal or reconciliation. 

  

So, what are your terms of endearment for God and Jesus other than Father and Friend? 

For as one commentator asks,  

     “Whom else should we be more intimate than the God about whom the Bible says,  

‘The One in whom we live and move and have our being’? (Acts 17:28)”   

Blessings & Much Joy, 

Pastor Chellie 

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