Today's Word for Pastors...
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Teach Us How To Pray
There may be no more familiar prayer in the entire world than the Lord's Prayer. It does not seem to matter where you go in the world; if you were to invite people to repeat those words with you the vast majority of people could say them. We may not know many other portions of scripture, and we may not know any other prayer or passage well enough to say from memory, but most of us could work our way through the Lord's Prayer. There might be some division over one part of that prayer, and that would involve whether to say forgive us our trespasses, or forgive us our debts or perhaps forgive us our sins.
The Luke version of the prayer found in Luke 11, which is the version preferred by Roman Catholics, differs from the Matthew version, because it does not include the last three lines about the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. However, with those few differences set aside, most people in this country and in many places around the world could repeat the words of the Lord's Prayer. It is a prayer that many of us learned in our childhood and continue to repeat over and over again for the rest of our lives.
What concerns me this morning is whether or not repeating the prayer is all that we are doing. Has the Lord's Prayer become like the Pledge of Allegiance or the words of the national anthem; words that we speak without really listening to or considering what we are saying? I believe that the words of the Lord's Prayer are among the most revolutionary words ever spoken. When you stop to consider what those words actually say, and if you should decided to live out your life in accordance with what those words actually say, your whole life would begin to move in an entirely different direction.
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Traveling through New England, a motorist stopped for gas in a tiny village. "What type of town is this?" he asked the station attendant.
"All depends," the native drawled. "Do you mean by them that has to live in this dad-blamed, moth-eaten, dust-covered dump, or by them that's merely enjoying its quaint and picturesque rustic charms for a short spell?"
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