Seeds for Meditation – Br. David Allen

Here is this morning’s sermon.  I was to have preached it on Wednesday, but time factors caused a schedule change and I preached it today, substituting the Wednesday Gospel for that in the lectionary.

I am calling this sermon “Seeds for meditation”.  They are only that, suggestions for further development of each clause in St. Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer.

davidallen_1Lk 11:1-4

You will have recognized the Gospel Read today as the shorter version of the Lord’s Prayer from Luke’s Gospel.  The longer version of that prayer found in Matthew’s Gospel is probably more familiar to most of us.  From very early it won its place for use in liturgical prayer.  However, I feel that Luke’s version has an advantage in its brevity for the purpose of meditative prayer.  Let the Holy Spirit guide us in our meditation on these five brief phrases!

“Father, hallowed be your name.”

By his repeated examples of referring to God as his Father, Jesus teaches us also to consider God as our Father.  God does not need to be reminded that His Name is holy, but we need to be reminded!

Your kingdom come.    

Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God has already come, and is also yet to come in its fullness. (Lk 17:21)        We can realize this, and then look forward to fuller understanding.

“Give us each day our daily bread.”

In these words we ask God for bread as our daily sustenance.  In some cultures this may be rice.  Remember we are not asking for cake!

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”

I have used “as” here to conform to the contemporary version used in the Book of Common Prayer.  I believe it keeps the intended meaning with greater clarity.  The word “for” used in this place in the NRSV, seems to me to suggest too easy a forgiveness of others.  Forgiving others is not always that easy. We need to be reminded that to forgive something is to “let it go”.  We also need to know when we should do that.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

There are various ways of asking to be delivered from evil, and to be saved from falling into temptation.  One that I like is “Save us in the time of trial”(not from it.)    Our faith when it is tested can produce endurance, character, and hope, in turn.

(Cf. James 1:3-4, Rom. 5:3-5)

There are many kinds of meditative prayer; of seeking clearer vision of the way God puts before us.  Examples of meditation such as I have given here should help you to have a deeper love of God and continuing spiritual growth.

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  1. Damon D. Hickey on November 22, 2019 at 15:01

    With respect, Br. David, while I think “Save us in the time of trial” is a worthy prayer, I don’t believe it’s not what Jesus taught. The variations on “Do not bring us to the time of trial” aren’t about ordinary temptation, anymore than Jesus’s temptations in the Wilderness and the Garden were ordinary ones. He meant, “Don’t let us be dragged before the authorities to face martyrdom” (“but deliver us from the Evil One”). Jesus knew all too well the agony of that testing and the weakness of human flesh (including his own) before it. It led Peter to deny him, his male disciples to flee, and he himself to pray that he not be forced to drink its cup. But God did bring him (and many of his disciples) to trial, and God delivered him from the Evil One. Still, it was a near thing, and Jesus wanted to spare his friends from that trial of their faith. Not every part of our Lord’s teaching has to be about us. This petition should remind us instead of the debt we owe to those who kept the faith for our sakes.

  2. Love your stuff! Your word for the day is a frequent part of my meditation time. I do want to ask a question about today’s “word.” Bro. Allen writes that testing can produce endurance, character and hope. My question is whether “hope” is in the same basket as character and endurance. The latter sound to me like good things, but I tend to separate the good and the holy. OK, maybe “separate” is too strong. I’m really wondering whether and if so how you all compare and contrast the good and the holy. Blessings!

  3. Tudy Hill on November 22, 2019 at 12:33

    so simple to remember, and so true in my life…”save us in the time of trial”. That “in” makes all the difference. Thank you, Brother David.

  4. Jeanne DeFazio on November 22, 2019 at 11:16

    Great blessing to receive this teaching this am!

  5. LIBERTY FORD on November 22, 2019 at 10:17

    IN the time of trial fills a question I’ve always had about FROM. Thank you for that! I also find the Luke version much more satisfying and challenging, since it doesn’t end with reassurance.

  6. Elizabeth Hardy on November 22, 2019 at 09:55

    God works in mischievous ways! I was going to preach on the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday as my reflection on the feast of Christ the King, or The Reign of Christ. This is like a sign – and some definite help as I develop my theme. Thank you Brother. Elizabeth Hardy+

  7. SusanMarie on November 22, 2019 at 07:26

    Brother David, I meditate daily, but I have never thought of using these phrases from Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. I appreciate the “seeds for meditation”. God bless you!

  8. Byron Cawthon on November 22, 2019 at 07:13

    Thank you for the reminders. I needed to be reminded of all of your points.

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