Good morning y’all! Tomorrow we will gather around the table, like how we gathered around the table last week! And I don’t about you, but after the first day of spring and a string of snow-less days — maybe the snow-less season has finally arrived…time of course (as it always does) will tell!
But let’s think back to last Sunday when we gathered, prayed, and began checking in about a week during which our homework was to sit at the feet of Jesus each day. Some voiced a palpable angst over not doing it right and then the sigh of relief when they realized they do sit at the feet of Jesus. Others named how this was hard for them. One mentioned how in their Martha-like behaviors they were Mary too! Someone was brave enough to ask, how exactly does one sit at the feet of Jesus anyway? This important query — one that really is for each and everyone of us to discern with the help of the Holy Spirit –was answered by many seated at the table, and something I mentioned to some degree there was — this sitting at Jesus’ feet will look different for each of us, it might include gardening, music, sitting, maybe even a nap! — and while it will look the same, I imagine that once we’ve found our way there — we will experience some similar things, like a relaxing into Jesus that we can feel; like an ability to breathe deeply that we didn’t realize we had been missing; like a pause that restores us and enables us to go on knowing somehow it’s going to be ok; sometimes even like we’ve gotten clear on something that had been very foggy!
From the sounds of it, the invitation to sit at Jesus’ feet daily — to engage more of our “Mary” selves, turned out to be a blessing and to bring a certain blessing of peace into each of our lives — to GOD be the glory for this gift! So having checked-in of course we turned to scripture, specifically to Luke again and continued into the next verses. While the 2nd reader read Luke 11:1-13, our first and last readers read where we focused, Luke 11:1-4:
Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation. (Luke 11:1-4, English Standard Version)
The conversation included not having noticed before that in Luke the instruction on how to pray comes immediately following the story of Martha & Mary. Yet what really seemed to stand out was how there is a reward for persistence in asking, how really when we approach God it is in the posture of one who begs — for all that God gifts us with is grace (something we do not deserve & did not earn), and how the gift of the Holy Spirit seems to be the best gift that we can get. There was a question as to if it made folks nervous that this “Our Father” is different than the one in Matthew 6:9b-13? There was also the aloud wondering if we really even think about this prayer or give it its proper respect, considering it is one of the (few) times that Jesus rather directly answered a question which leads us to the homework of the week. A homework assignment which has 2 parts because it’s just so easy!
Part 1: Use the “Our Father” as a model to pray — all week. See what happens. Part 2: Put the “Our Father” into your own words.
Happy Praying y’all & see you tomorrow — on Palm Sunday!
In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater