Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Our Father..."

In Leviticus and Numbers, God, through Moses, instructs the community of Israelites how to approach and worship Him. The instructions are very much directed to the community as a whole. The covenantal relationship is connected to the community's faithfulness to Jehovah.

Does Jesus change this community relationship in His coming, His teachings? Is He changing the community relationship with God to an individual relationship with God? Yes, and No. Each of us is invited to a personal, intimate, relationship with His Father, as revealed in Him. But that relationship is part of a community. And not just the community of believers, although that is where it begins and receives its support and encouragement.

When Jesus teaches us to pray "Our Father...", His charge is for us to remember, to realize, that He yearns for that intimate relationship (even and perhaps especially with those who have not experienced the intimacy of such a relationship) with "all". Everyone is included in that "Our..." More to the point, no one you can think of, in any part of our world, is excluded from that "Our..."

That is comforting, yet humbling. At the very outset of our communication with the Almighty God, the Creator of all, yet the Father, Jesus charges us as His children, that His love in inclusive of everyone. We should, therefore, begin our prayer with this attitude of inclusiveness--that everyone is our brother and sister. No exception.

As we begin again his journey called Lent, the words "Our Father..." shows us the cross was for all--not just those who profess belief in He who spread His hand and arms to be nailed to that cross. Let's remember this as we walk toward the cross. Don't just pass others as we approach-let's invite them, all of them, to the foot of the cross.

No comments:

Post a Comment