GO and DO
Luke 10: 37 “Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
When Jesus was being tested by a lawyer, he told one of the most famous stories in the Bible: The Good Samaritan. A man was robbed, beaten, and left by the side of the road. Some people who should have helped, just passed on by. Then a Samaritan, who was a hated outsider, stopped and cared for the injured man. Jesus asked the lawyer ‘Who was a neighbour? He said ‘The one who showed him mercy.”. To which Jesus said, ‘Go and do likewise.’
What does it mean to show mercy? Mercy is showing compassion when you don’t have to. Mercy is forgiveness even when it’s hard. Mercy is being kind just because it is the right thing to do. Mercy is caring for those in need even if it’s inconvenient. For Christians, showing mercy is an essential part of loving God and loving our neighbours as ourselves. From Jesus, we learn that it may be in unexpected people and surprising situations that mercy is shown, and with his example, we can go and do likewise.
For THINE is the Kingdom, Power, and Glory
1 Chronicles 29: 11 “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in earth is thine.”
As we come to the end of our series on “The Lord’s Prayer: the power and meaning of the prayer Jesus taught” by Adam Hamilton, we turn to the final line. ‘For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever, Amen. Even though the line was probably not part of the original words of Jesus, it is an appropriate end to the prayer. It is a doxology, which is a fancy word for an expression of praise to God. Christians believe God is worthy to be praised for all that God has done and all that God will do. The kingdom, the power, and the glory of God is to be celebrated, so we sing, worship, and pray in response.
The Lord’s Prayer is an important part of Christian worship. It teaches about the nature of God and is a call to live out our faith. It strengthens our relationship with the divine and turns our eyes to the needs of the world. Adam Hamilton says “May these powerful words daily shape our hearts and lives, and through us the world in which we live. Forever. Amen”.
Lead Us God
Matthew 6: 13 “Lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Temptation: when we think of that word we imagine all those things we know we shouldn’t have or the things we shouldn’t do? Bingeing on unhealthy foods or watching too many shows on Netflix. Telling a little white lie or ‘borrowing’ office supplies from work. Engaging in an inappropriate relationship or committing a crime. These are not life-giving activities and they may even lead to harm for ourselves and for others.
The reality is that temptations begin in our thoughts. So, it makes sense that a change of behaviour starts in our minds and that is why prayer plays a role in shaping who we are and what we do. In the prayer that Jesus taught, we pray ‘Lead us, not into temptation’. We are not suggesting that God would lead us into tempting situations, but that God would lead us on the right path, away from temptations. When we pray, we ask God to change our thoughts, to give us strength, and to lead us to make good and life-giving choices.
Forgive…As We Forgive
Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”
One of the main messages of Jesus was forgiveness and reconciliation. In a world where vengeance and revenge were the norm, he taught love, mercy, and grace. It was message needed in the first century just as much as it’s needed today. Forgiveness is about letting go of bitterness and anger so that we can be in right relationship with each other and with God. Forgiveness is about accountability and taking the first step to apologize for our hurtful actions. Forgiveness is about freedom to live an abundant life.
Adam Hamilton says, “Forgiveness is both a choice and a process. This is true in accepting it for yourself, as well as in practicing it towards others. Jesus links God’s forgiveness with our forgiveness of others. In a sense, we cannot fully accept God’s forgiveness when we continue to hold on to our anger or bitterness towards others.” As we continue our series on the Lord’s Prayer, we will explore the many characteristics of forgiveness from the example set by Jesus.
Our Daily Bread
Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”
In prayer, we praise and thank God, but we also pray for the things we need and want for ourselves and for others. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught his followers to say, ‘give us this day our daily bread’. Bread can mean the literal bread we need to live and thrive and is featured in a number of miracles in the Bible. Bread can also represent Jesus as the one who feeds our souls.
Adam Hamilton says, “When we’re literally hungry, we pray ‘Give us this day the bread we need’. When we have plenty, we pray ‘Give all of us this day the bread that we need’, we are both praying for and offering to help those in need. And we are also praying for the bread of life, Christ, who satisfies our hungry hearts.” As we continue to study the power and meaning of the prayer Jesus taught, we will consider what it means to ask for, and be given, our daily bread.