Monday, March 31, 2014

Looking Forward to April 6, 2014 -- Lent 5, 4th in the Lord's Prayer Series

The Scripture Readings this week are
  • Luke 4:1-12
  • Romans 8:26-39
The Sermon title is Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Lead us, Deliver Us

Early Thoughts: "Lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil"

In the end I wonder how realistic this line is.  Life is a constant stream of temptation, life has times when we are confronted by "evil" in some form/to some degree or another.

So what do we mean when we pray these words????

It would be nice to think that we can be lead away from temptation--but Scripture defies that understanding.  Even Jesus is tempted.

Some versions of the Lord's Prayer have "save us from the time of trial" here.  Does that mean we pray that God would ensure we never have times of trial?  Again that would be nice but seems more than a little simplistic.

But I remember what I think are the most important words in the United Church Creed (aka the New Creed).  We are not alone.

Really that is what I hear Paul reminding us at the end of this passage from Romans.

And really I think that is what we are praying for in this section of the prayer.

We are not alone.  So when temptations lies before us we are not alone as we sort out how to respond (because a temptation only works if it looks like a good choice, and there is a proverbial road paved with good intentions).  So we ask God to provide leadership/wisdom/guidance as we sort out our choices.  Lead us not into temptation.  [Admittedly that might be a bit of a stretch in what the words actually say]

We are not alone.  So when we are in the time of trial, when life is difficult, when evil things happen we don't deal with it alone or by our own strength.  Deliver us from evil (or deliver us in evil/times of trial as has been suggested to me more than once.

At least I think that is where I am headed this week....

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