Monday 14 February 2022

Bible Book:

'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.' (v. 10)

Matthew 6:9-15 Monday 14 February 2022

Psalm 75:1-7


Our Bible reading today is  the Lord’s Prayer in its most familiar form (there is a much shorter version in Luke 11:2-4). It's very familiar and the other day I even overheard some young teenagers in McDonalds reciting it (I was intrigued and wanted to know the context).

But familiarity with a text can also be challenging, as perhaps we don’t think about it very much. I’ve grown up with  'Abba' translated as 'Father' rather than more intimate terms such as 'Daddy', yet I’ve learned that it was the normal form of address for fathers and a nominal title for any adult who had fathered children. Fortunately our understanding of God as an intimate, loving parent is not based on a particular translation of Abba.

In verses 9 and 10 the prayer begins with God’s kingdom in the present, on earth, and in the future, in heaven. In the rest of the prayer the focus is on the petitioners (our bread, our debts, our forgiveness, our protection).

There can be quite a spread in our understanding of what we are praying for throughout the Lord’s Prayer when it comes to timing. It might well be that we mix up a variety of different timings. So I want to encourage us to reflect on each line and how we typically understand the timing. For example we might think of “Our Father in heaven” in terms of eternity. We might then jump to understanding “hallowed be your name” as being God is hallowed at this particular moment of prayer and worship. When we say “Your kingdom come” we might mean God’s kingdom is coming in Jesus and is not yet complete. So we might understand it in terms of the return of Jesus (in the Church calendar particularly during Advent) or in terms of wanting to see more of God’s kingdom tomorrow in our community, where we might have issues of injustice or poverty that we are concerned about.

In verse 11 we ask for our daily bread. We might be thinking of food for today or of a heavenly banquet to come.


To Ponder:

  •  Pray through the Lord’s Prayer and notice how you understand the timings. Why do you understand the timings in that way?
  • I wonder how you might see God, God’s kingdom, your relationship with God and the world differently if you chose to reflect on different timings for each line of the Lord’s Prayer. You could experiment with eternity, distant past, recent past, present, or the future.
  • How might people’s immediate situations change the way they understand the timings in the Lord’s Prayer? Would noticing that change anything about our relationships or priorities? In what way?
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