Sunday 25 July 2010

Bible Book:

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (v.13)

Luke 11:1-13 Sunday 25 July 2010


There is a feeling of urgency about the way in which the writerof Luke's Gospel records the words of what we know as the Lord'sPrayer. The phrases are short, direct and in keeping with theparable and sayings that immediately follow, in which the idea ofasking, seeking and knocking recur.

If read quickly, these verses can deliver an impression that it isour task to nag God until we get what we want (including our dailybread), but Luke has other things he wants to tell us.

The first is that, by example, Jesus demonstrated the critical roleof prayer for our understanding of what God wants for us. Arguablymore than the other Gospel writers, Luke lays a good deal ofemphasis on Jesus' prayer life - he is shown at prayer seven timesduring this Gospel. It's little wonder that his disciples want todevelop their own prayer life too.

Secondly, Luke draws out the nature of our relationship with God -both in the prayer (which begins with the intimate "Abba" - meaning'father') and the parable that follows. We are not invited to likenthe reluctant friend to God but to contrast the two. As a parent,Jesus asks, would you be so obtuse about your children's requests?Of course not, we say. Quite so, responds Jesus.

Parents tend to forget that their children know them almost as wellthey know their children. Jesus invites his disciples to understandthat God has chosen to be as a parent to them, thus implying thatthey can know God intimately (through prayer), and discover in Goda generous parent who wishes to share with them God's dream, God's'Word', for the world.

To Ponder

It isn't always easy to feel connected to Godoutside worship or personal prayer and quiet times. Is there a wayin which you can remind yourself of God's parental presence evenwhen your day is filled with tasks and concerns?

Jesus assumes that a parent always wants the bestfor their child. How would you explain this image of God to a sonor daughter for whom this has not been the case?

What do you think Jesus meant when he describedhis disciples as 'evil'? How would you respond if Jesus told youthat you are evil?

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