Friday, 18 July 2014

The revolutionary Lord's prayer

Christianity is often seen as or hoped to be about prayers and ceremony. So when we see that Christians being arrested is the new black, what do we make of it?

One of my friends was arrested for praying in Scott Morrison's office, praying for him to change his mind on his heartless and ungodly policy of locking up children in gulag like conditions with scant regard for their dignity, let alone international law, and prayer for those children.

Another friend of mine was arrested at Maules Creek, opposing a mine that has little popular support among locals, farmers, indigenous Australians, doctors, nurses and religious leaders. It is destructive of the local environment, and via climate change of the entire globe.

I want to suggest that these and many other actions, not just private prayers and confessions but public acts of protest against issues of ethical, political and economic concern are all mandated (after careful thought about the issues themselves) by the Lord's Prayer.

I want to go through it slowly in a series of posts - but we need to think before praying this for ourselves that it is in part answered already.

The Father of the only son has shared this prayer to those who believed in his name and were made children of God (John 1:12). The kingdom has come as Jesus was crucified: dressed as a king and mocked by Roman soldiers, interrogated as king by Pilate and crucified with the title of 'king of the Jews' above him. In Romans 1 Paul makes it clear that what was said in mockery was ironically true, proved by the resurrection.

Jesus is our daily bread, the bread of life (not ignoring the fact that we need physical sustenance). Ironically too - his did the Father's will so that he was not immediately delivered from evil but handed over to be crucified so that evil may be defeated.

And yet the evil we see and the times of trial we face tell us this prayer is still to be prayed. And that will be the subject of another post.

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