It’s blindingly obvious but yet something I’ve failed to take much note of the number of times I’ve said the Lord’s prayer.
The fact that when the disciples ask Jesus how to pray and he tells them not to say ‘my Father’ but ‘our Father’ reinforces that we are called to join a community, the family of God. When we address our Father, the use of the phrase ‘our’ reminds us that we cannot exist in our own selfish little bubble demanding our own rights and wants, but the father that we address isn’t just mine but the father of all his children, of all the Christian community. In this small simple word profound truth is expressed that realigns my view on the world and those around me in the church.
No matter how different they are, no matter how much they may disagree with me, or have hurt me, we share the same Father. We receive the same relentless love, the same undeserved grace. It would be so much easier if he was just ‘my father’ but the our calls me to a more difficult road, a road walked by our elder brother, one that is redemptive, that embraces the difficulty of forgiveness. A road that can bring the joy of true reconciliation instead of the bitterness of avoidance or a pretend forgiveness. A road down which if we all had the courage to walk could change the world…
3 thoughts on “‘Our Father’ – faith as communal more than individual”
This really struck me when I worshipped in an Anglican church in London for a year or so … after most of my experience of individual nature of Presbyterianism.
I never ceased to wonder (I perhaps wasn’t there long enough for it to become too familiar) at bowed heads gathered – from the recovering alcoholic to the headteacher, the asylum seeker to the aspiring politician – all confessing together… no matter what we had been doing through the week or our status in society… all together in the family of God.
love this post sam. great perspective. we need each other. faith is not to be lived as an island but in community. something i (and i think we) have missed over the years.
Yes it seems to be one of the big downsides of the reformation and something evangelicalism in its zeal for ‘right doctrine’ often forgets..