My dear Covenant Partners and GEM Family:
The Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6: 9-13).
The Ten Commandments can be viewed as the Mosaic Covenant’s betrothal statement between God and His people. Similarly, the Our Father can be seen as the perfect expression of the Eternal Covenant in Jesus. In the Old Testament, God dwelled among His people in the Temple. He was Emmanuel to them, yet they held God with great reverence and would address Him with pseudonyms. They were acutely aware of God’s everlasting mercy, yet they held God at a distance. They preferred intermediaries between God and them, like Moses and the prophets.
A sea change occurs with Jesus. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has offered us all the joys and privileges of His filial relationship with His Father. He has brought us into the depths of His intimacy with God by asking us to share in His filial relationship with His Father. We participate in God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5: 21); we share in the divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4) of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus’ Father becomes Our Father. Through Jesus, God claims us as His sons and daughters, and we claim Him as Our Father. Through Jesus, we have become insiders to God’s life, living with Him and in Him as His sons and daughters.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we address the Father with the same sentiments that Jesus has toward Him. We address God by Jesus’ name for Him. He is our Father and we share in Jesus’ Sonship. It behooves us, therefore, to act like Jesus does, in total obedience to His Father. So, we hallow God’s name in the way Jesus did: “And now, I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are” (John 17: 11). We work tirelessly for the establishment of God’s kingdom in our hearts and in the world, in union with and continuation of Jesus’ redemption of the world. Jesus did His Father’s will on earth as He always did in heaven. In becoming one with Jesus, we behave like Him toward His Father here on earth, as we will in heaven.
In the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is reminding us that we are lost outside of Him. And so, we ask for the unmerited gift of always being in union with Him through receiving our daily bread which is His Body and Blood. ‘Daily bread’ was the name given to the daily manna in the desert. We ask for the forgiveness of our sins in the same measure in which we forgive the sins of others; and we ask as well that we might always be faithful to our covenant bond with the Blessed Trinity, especially in the hour of death. Finally, we ask to share in the victory of Jesus over Satan, the prince of darkness and Evil personified. In Jesus, we have received a hyphenated identity, sinner-saint, in need of forgiveness and continually acting like saints. Finally, we ask that through our own complacency and hardheadedness we might never be led astray. And we do all this in the power of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In summary, Jesus tells us that His Father has now become our Father! God bless you! You are in our daily prayers!