I would like to spend the next few weeks contemplating the Lord’s Prayer. I learned this prayer as child and have prayed it thousands, if not, tens or hundreds of thousands of times. Over the last few months, the prayer has blossomed in my heart with new meaning. I would like to share what has blossomed.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus refers to God as “my Father” when speaking about His relationship with God, and as “your Father” when speaking about our relationship with God. In doing so, Jesus is affixing a belonging or inclusive filial relationship between humanity and God. This filial relationship is deeper and more intimate than a covenant, a contract between parties. A filial relationship is based on a shared, common lineage.
By teaching us to address His Father as our Father, Jesus is drawing us into a relationship with Him, His Father, and eventually with the Holy Spirit. We have a filial relationship with Jesus through our shared humanity, with God the Father, as adopted sons and daughters, through our shared image and likeness, and with the Holy Spirit through shared love between Jesus, God the Father, and us.
Jesus taught us to open our prayer with the one who formed us, created us in His image and likeness, breath live into us, and who proclaimed us to be very good, by acknowledging the intimate relationship God is calling us into, by addressing Him as “Our Father”. (Typographical errors corrected on May 5, 2013)