Chapter 6 is placed in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, and our reading is taken from the middle of this chapter and I think I’d be safe in saying that it is a very well-known passage.
As you look through the headings given to this chapter we have several different foci but the one we can all say we remember is the one about the Lord’s Prayer. Hopefully you will notice that it’s a bit shorter than the one we say each week. If you happen to worship in a Roman Catholic church however, this is exactly where they finish the prayer. It’s us protestants who have added the power and glory to the end of this prayer. It is recorded that the 1526 Tyndale translation and then the 1611 King James Version added the lines “for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.”
Even the version we say today only came into use in 1988 and many are the times when we revert to the ‘old version’ out of habit. This ‘old version’ with all the thees and thous is often the version used in the funerals of our older generations. It is also the version I will use when visiting sick older people who find comfort in the words they had learnt and knew so well.
I say nearly every Sunday that we add our voices to the voices around the world to say this and this is true. It is probably one of the most well-known prayer and to be in a room where people are encouraged to pray this prayer in their first language, not necessarily in English, reminds me that the Holy Spirit is with us as we pray.
I remember having a conversation with a parent concerned about the fact that the Lord’s Prayer was not said weekly in worship and how were their children to learn this prayer and remember it. A valid point, but there can also be a tendency to just say the words of this prayer without thinking what they mean. The words of this prayer has links to the Beatitudes that Kelly shared with us last week, as well as the 10 Commandments.
For me, there is an importance to keep this prayer as fresh as it can be. To really be aware of the words I use when I say it, as if I am saying it for the first time. And to know that I am not alone when I say it, the world prays with me.
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