There is a subtle sabotage going on inside of us as we pray this line. The human truth is that we are all sanctified Something. It could be a person, a job, your image, money, reputation, or sex appeal. There are not two types of people in the world: holy and unholy. There is only one type: the saint, the worshiper.
There are not two types of people in the world: holy and unholy. There is only one type: the saint, the worshiper.
The plain fact is that most of the prayers most people say or think tend to fall into the category of asking God to sanctify what is sanctified. Most of our prayers focus on the things we want that we don’t have or the things we have that we don’t want.
I catch a dangerous habit in myself: I’m not immune to making career, kids, health, and romance the most desirable and important things in my life. I probably revere them. Thus, if I were not careful, my impromptu well-intentioned prayers would conflict with the prayer Christ taught us.
God knows that if we give anything other than Him a place of absolute value, we will stumble and perish in shame and heartbreak. Therefore, in giving us the Lord’s Prayer, he insists that we cannot pray to him as an intimate and immanent Father unless we are. also His value and worship as a supreme God.
Choosing a demigod
Now, most people either can’t or won’t. We choose the gentle, intimate God who always listens to Him, but refuses to hear Him and His greatness. And so he becomes our healer. But this type of relationship is characterized by passion without respect. And when we do not respect God, we feel free to reject His commands in the way we feel free to reject the advice of our therapists (as we often do).
Some of us choose the highness of God. We choose God Almighty, all-powerful. We speculate on those who speak of God as loving, and dismiss them as tender, sentimental, and dogmatic ballast. We admire God from afar and do not respect Him. I can notExperience intimacy with God because we fear Him in our hearts – and fear eventually turns into resentment.
Mature Christian prayer is daring to walk into the temple of a sovereign God as if you were walking into your parents’ living room. It’s a respect to know that you shouldn’t drive a whiny wish list and yet have a level of comfort in knowing that it’s perfectly appropriate for you to start with “Good morning, Dad.” How could anyone possess this kind of audacity and familiarity?
Necessity + Transcendence = Incarnation
We can get it because of who teaches us to pray. In Jesus, God’s essence and transcendence meet and become one. If we want to use a mathematical equation, we can say: Immanence + Transcendence = Incarnation.
Mature Christian prayer is daring to walk into the temple of a sovereign God as if you were walking into your parents’ living room.
In Jesus, the Holy Stranger the other God draws near, not to strike fear into our hearts or condemn us, but to give Himself for us—to die for us—so that we may draw near to God as Father and sanctify Him above all else.
If all of this sounds a little ethereal, you’re not alone. This is why God has given his people the sacraments (as we call them in the Anglican tradition), so we may have a tangible means of dealing with that sacrament.
The devastating beauty of bread and wine
This is what makes church worship not only a little different, but the complete opposite of all other forms of worship:
- Instead of making our offerings, we accept Christ’s offering.
- Instead of sacrificing to our God, our God sacrifices for us.
- Instead of worshiping something that eats us, we worship a God who invites us to eat it.
What a beautiful and captivating puzzle! It must stop us from dying in our tracks. When we see a loaf of bread and a glass of wine on the communion table, we must be dumbfounded. I can’t believe this is how much God loves us. . . it’s a beautiful.
Church survival in the wilderness
With these words in our hearts, we begin to imagine that we live in a wilderness where God is not only available to comfort us but is so beautiful and valuable that he transcends everything good in our lives and becomes our ultimate good. We are loved, infatuated. We begin to subjectively believe in what is already objectively true: God has brought us closer to His holiness in Jesus. We may start body The gospel – words that change our imagination and desires, which in turn change our actions.
If God is my father, what have you to fear? Certainly not pandemics, or liberals, or conservatives, or immigrants, or debt, or loneliness, or any of the myriad ghosts that want me to cower in fear.
If God is holy above all things, what thing of ultimate value can be taken from me? nothing.
With these words on our lips, our minds, and our hearts, our lives begin to take on the kind of courage and trust that only the true Son of God can achieve.