Our Father who is always near, Emmanuel - God with us,
Hallowed/Holy/Healing is Your name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done
Here on earth, in our lives, in my life, as in heaven.
Give us bread for the day. And the eyes to see it and the courage to take and eat.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have, are, and will sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the one who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
Your's is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.
If you've ever wondered what you were signing up for in this thing called the Christian life, well, there it is. The Lord's Prayer. The disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray," which really means, "Lord, teach us to live." And Jesus responds with these words. I believe Jesus said, "Huddle up, boys. Here's what the journey into God is. This doesn't cover all the details of the trip, but it gives you a framework for what "following Me" is going to look like. Can you pray it? Can you live it?"
The very first word in Jesus’ prayer is OUR - that little three letter word that always filled that lower spot on the right-hand side of the grammar grid we learned in school. There is me, my, and mine and then there is we, us and our. The kingdom life is an invitation to a journey among plurals – OUR.
Jesus has no interest in a single man; he wants men and women and boys and girls and uncles and cousins and engineers and dental assistants and Harry Potter fans and people who still love the Dixie Chicks. His choosing of the disciples is illustrative of this. He needed Peter, who would display rock-like faith, the kind you build churches on. He also displayed a cowardice that would have to later be redeemed by taking up the bucket and feeding the sheep. Jesus wanted John, who would one day care for the heart-broken mother of God. But a sweet, almost feminine John this was not; no, he and his brother were known as "sons of thunder" for a reason. Jesus desired Thomas, whose eyes would see the wounds and hand would touch the pierced side of the risen Lord. Thomas, usually looked down on as a "doubter" but who actually stood with a courage most of us covet: "Show me." You cannot get past the first word in Christ’s prayer without being clearly notified that the Christian life is an our/we/us adventure. Any view to the contrary reveals that we may be praying a prayer, but it’s not the Lord’s; we may be living some version of religion, but it’s not the Christ-life. And it won't be a group of sinless, smiling folks singing praise choruses. No, it'll look more like the vanload in Little Miss Sunshine.
True, there are some moments when we'll make solo jaunts. And those are necessary. But the journey is we/us/our...