Last Sunday, I preached about The Lord’s Prayer. In my message, I included a creative version of that familiar prayer that we used in worship one Lenten season years ago. (You’ll find it printed here.)
In that sermon, I went on to remark that I thought it would be a wonderful experiment for each of us to try writing our own version of Jesus’ familiar prayer. Emphasizing its simplicity (and simultaneously hoping to help us trust that our prayers are sufficient when they are shorter), I suggested that Jesus’ prayer is much more a haiku than it is a doctoral dissertation.
Wendy Harrah (bless her!) took my morning message more seriously than I had expected. Waiting for me when I got home that afternoon was her freshly-created Lord’s Prayer haiku:
Abba holy name
Enlist endear enfranchise
Present active love
One of the gifts of a church like ours is that we are free to make this ancient faith our own. Whether it’s doing what Wendy did on Sunday or changing the words of a familiar hymn to suit our sensibilities better, we can trust that our individuality, our particular faith-slant, is more than acceptable to God; indeed, it’s a sign that we are engaged with our faith, not simply reciting things someone else has taught us.
During our post-worship congregational meeting, Rog Coman spoke to this—he said that he very much appreciates being part of a church that does not expect/force him to agree with anything anyone else is saying, the pastor included.
Rog’s remark was inspired by a conversation we had relating to the Golden Circle handout that Pat Riddell distributed, inviting each of us to identify the “why” that undergirds and informs our participation in the life of Community Spirit Church. For any number of CSCers, one of our “whys” related to Rog’s comment; together, we understand and affirm that each of us is on a spiritual journey that moves us increasingly toward an authentic faith, a living faith, a sustaining faith. To my mind, this can’t happen unless we feel the freedom I’ve mentioned above—to take what has been given us and reshape it until it genuinely reflects our earnest understandings.
If ever you would like a conversation partner to better explore what you do (and don’t) believe, I’m your gal! I’ll meet you for coffee, and together, we can wade or dive into the waters of the faith you hold dear, releasing anything that isn’t authentic to you at this time in your life’s journey.