June 28, 2009

Our Father Meditation, III

Welcome to the last of the Our Father meditations--our responsibility because we are Children of the Loving Father God.

And Forgive us Our Trespasses as we Forgive those who Trespass Against us…One of the most difficult things we are commanded to do is to forgive. There will always be people who mistreat or harm us, but the only way for the Kingdom of God to break through, individually and corporately, is for us to live a life of forgiveness rather than retaliation.

Forgiveness is more for our own spiritual health than for the offender. Offering forgiveness doesn’t mean we say whatever happened didn’t occur. We say that we are making the conscious decision to not let the hurt fester in our hearts and souls. Forgiveness is laying the offense and the offender in the lap of God and saying “I let this go.” Only then can we be freed to move on.

We are also required to confess our own sins, because as I John reminds us, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Sin springs from our selfish nature—from wanting our way rather than God’s way and from battering others in order to get what we think we MUST have.

At the end of the day, isn’t it a relief to crawl up into our Father’s lap and say, “I’m sorry and I promise to do better”?

Lead us not into Temptation, But deliver us from Evil…There are many things that tempt us to do something we shouldn’t. Many look innocuous at first, but repeated exposure leads to evil—to separation from God. God doesn’t put the temptations in our way, we are very good at seeking them out ourselves. Just as earthly parents sometimes let their children learn the consequences of their actions, sometimes God, our Father, does the same thing. We can blithely go our way, but eventually we will trip and fall. It is then that God is there to gather us up and offer comfort.

James 1:13 reminds us that “God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one.” Later on in the same chapter the author urges us to “be doers of the word” (James 1:22).

When we are actively involved in doing God’s will and fulfilling God’s call in our hearts, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit it is easier to resist the temptations of the world. Seeking God’s arms of protection can help us to resist “our own desires.”

For Thine is the Kingdom, And the Power, And the Glory Forever and ever, Amen…at the end of the prayer, we return again to praise and to remembering that God is God and all things are in His control. We, too, are in his loving lap, when we let ourselves curl up there and listen to His heartbeat. Then we can go forth into the world to love and serve one another in right relationship with God and with mankind, which is the definition of righteousness.
Thank you for journeying with me through the Lord's Prayer. See you next time.

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