...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Glorious Prayer and Lord (3)

For thine is the kingdom and power and glory forever.

You won't find this phrase in either Luke or Matthew. Many Christians use this as a closing ascription to God. The words are used as a part of David's prayer in 1 Chronicles 29: 10-13. Also recall Revelation 5:12 and 7:12.

Some have suggested that these words were formed in the oral tradition through the cauldron of intense persecution, a time within two generations Jesus. Could these words have been on the lips of the first martyrs, those who were threatened to renounce Christ and proclaim Cesar as their king and god- or suffer the consequences?

Like any part of the Lord's Prayer, this conclusion can form the basis of multiple sessions. If you haven't already exhausted the kingdom theme, power and glory are great word studies with many biblical references. To end the prayer with these words is entirely in concert with counter-cultural nature of what we have already prayed in the text of this prayer. This is something we can miss when we repeat it, even knowingly, day by day.

The Lord's Prayer is one of the best known prayers anywhere, so that it can become an opportunity for evangelism among cultural or nominal Christians, the unconnected, and anyone interested in starting an intentional spiritual life with Jesus Christ and others. Many in the Body of Christ use this prayer with minor variations (such as sins or debts for trespasses), and most of these differences, can add , rather than subtract from, the richness and depth of what we share in Christ, and that like nothing else.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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